Falls Fire Burns 1,400 Acres; Containment Expected Friday

LAKE ELSINORE, Calif. (KTLA) — Firefighters were making progress Tuesday against a fast-moving brush fire burning in the Cleveland National Forest near Lake Elsinore.

The so-called Falls Fire had scorched 1,416 acres and was 20 percent contained as of Tuesday afternoon, according to Cal Fire.

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Falls Fire burning near Lake Elsinore

Full containment was expected by Friday, according to officials.

The blaze was reported around 10 a.m. on Monday in the Morrell Canyon area, fire officials said. It then moved east into Decker Canyon.

Mandatory evacuations were ordered for Lakeland Village, Decker Canyon and Rancho Capistrano as the flames burned dangerously close to homes.

By Tuesday evening, all evacuation orders had been lifted.

Some 265 firefighters were assigned to the blaze on Tuesday, aided by six helicopters and six fixed-wing aircraft.

Fire crews were dealing with thick brush and steep, rugged terrain.

Four firefighters suffered heat-related injuries, and one resident was treated for some medical issues, officials said.

One outbuilding — a barn — was destroyed and a second outbuilding was damaged, authorities said.

The Ortega Highway remained closed at Grand Avenue on the Lake Elsinore side and San Antonio Parkway on the Orange County side.

An evacuation center was set up at Lakeside High School, located at 32593 Riverside Dr. in Lake Elsinore.

There was no immediate word on what may have caused the fire.

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