Ortega Highway Shut Down After Car Fire Ignites Brush Near Rancho Mission Viejo

Ortega Highway, near the Ronald W. Caspers Wilderness Park outside of Rancho Mission Viejo, as pictured in an Google Street View image.

Ortega Highway, near the Ronald W. Caspers Wilderness Park outside of Rancho Mission Viejo, as pictured in an Google Street View image.

A car fire that spread to brush near the Ronald W. Caspers Wilderness Park outside of Rancho Mission Viejo prompted the closure of Ortega Highway on Friday afternoon, authorities said.

The incident was first reported just before 4 p.m. as a car that had caught fire on the roadside near the park, according to California Highway Patrol logs. Minutes later, officials were notified that the nearby brush had started to burn.

The CHP issued a Sig Alert for both directions of Ortega Highway about 4:25 p.m. It remain in effect beyond 10 p.m.

The fire soon consumed an estimated 30 acres of brush before firefighters got it under control, officials said.

Four helicopters and a fixed-wing airplane were brought in to assist firefighters on the ground.

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