Liberty Fire Scorches 300 Acres in Murrieta Area; 1 Structure Destroyed

This is a developing wildfire story. Please check back for updates.

A brush fire was spreading through the Murrieta area Thursday afternoon, forcing schools to close and residents to evacuate. At least one structure has been destroyed.

A structure burns in the Liberty Fire near Murrieta on Dec. 7, 2017. (Credit: KTLA)

A structure burns in the Liberty Fire near Murrieta on Dec. 7, 2017. (Credit: KTLA)

The blaze, being dubbed the Liberty Fire, was first reported around 1:15 p.m. near the intersection of Los Alamos and Liberty roads in an unincorporated area of Riverside County, according to Cal Fire.

The location is about 5 miles northwest of Murrieta City Hall.

By 4:30 p.m., the Liberty Fire had burned 300 acres and was 10 percent contained.

More than 700 homes remained threatened in the blaze, officials said.

Aerial video from Sky5 showed some kind of structure burning, and flames were surrounding another structure – a large hilltop home. Cal Fire confirmed one structure had been destroyed.

About 300 firefighters were responding, the Riverside County Fire Department said on its website. A 747 SuperTanker was en route to the blaze just after 4:30 p.m., aerial video showed.

Logan Mason and his mother watched as their new neighbors' home was devoured by flames.

"You can hear a huge explosion," Mason told KTLA. "I'm sorry for their loss."

A 747 SuperTanker drops retardant on the Liberty Fire near Murrieta on Dec. 7, 2017. (Credit: KTLA)

A 747 SuperTanker drops retardant on the Liberty Fire near Murrieta on Dec. 7, 2017. (Credit: KTLA)

Residents on the following streets were ordered to evacuate:

  • Los Alamos Road
  • Liberty Road
  • Mary Place
  • Via Mira Mosa
  • Madelda Lane
  • Skipper Road
  • Ernest Way
  • Mesa Avenue

Several schools closed early due to the fire, including:

  • Monte Vista Elementary
  • Rail Ranch Elementary
  • Lisa J. Mails Elementary
  • Dorothy McElhinney Middle School
  • Vista Murrieta High School

Evacuation centers were set up at:

  • Great Oak High School, at 32555 Deer Hollow Way in Temecula
  • Murrieta Mesa High School, located at 24801 Monroe St. in Murrieta

A second fire was also reported in the area of Guava Street and Hayes Avenue, the Murrieta Police Department said after 2 p.m. It's not clear what happened with the blaze.