OCEANSIDE, Calif. — A wildfire burned hundreds of acres in the Orange County wilderness Wednesday afternoon, sending thick plumes of smoke into the air that were visible from San Diego.
The fire broke out around 11:30 a.m. in the Cleveland National Forest, which spans parts of San Diego, Riverside and Orange counties, according to the U.S. Forest Service. By 2 p.m., it had ballooned to at least 400 acres and was 0% contained.
In the most recent update just after 7 p.m., officials said it had grown to 500 acres.
“Firefighters will be working through the night, monitoring and constructing containment lines,” officials said in a tweet.
The blaze was burning near the Holy Jim Trail, which is east of the O.C. communities of Trabuco Canyon and Lake Forest. It’s a fairly remote area near the Riverside County line, and there was no immediate word of any necessary evacuations.
People looking for specific information about the fire were asked to call 951-736-1811 and monitor the forest service’s Twitter account.
Residents in Oceanside told FOX 5 they could see the smoke rising clearly in the distance, and the North County Fire Protection District issued an alert explaining the source. “The fire is not a threat” to San Diego County, the department added.
Forest officials said the blaze, which they named the Jim Fire, was spreading at a “moderate” rate. At least eight engines, two air tankers, two helicopters and two hand crews were in the area trying to get the flames under control. More help was on the way, the forest service said around 1 p.m.
FOX 5 sister station KTLA flew its news helicopter over the forest, where flames and large plumes of smoke were clearly visible from the sky. Helicopters and planes made passes dropping water and fire retardant on the flames.