Raging intensely overnight, the Chaparral Fire tore through the foothills and destroyed at least two homes as crews battled the blaze near the Riverside County community of La Cresta.
The wildfire, burning on the edge of the Cleveland National Forest, had consumed an estimated 1,500 acres as of Sunday night, and firefighters had it 13% contained.
The blaze broke out Saturday afternoon in the area of Cleveland Forest Road and Tenaja Road southwest of Murrieta.
It spread quickly, consuming more than a thousand acres in a few hours and forcing residents to flee their homes.
Evacuation orders and warnings remained in place Sunday.
Everyone north of Tenaja Truck Trail, south of Calle Cielo, east of Calle Collado and west of Calle Be Bietol was under mandatory evacuation orders.
Evacuation warnings were in place for residents north of Tenaja Road, west of Calle Pino/Gallop Lane, south of Hombre Lane and west of Cleveland National Forest Road.
An evacuation center was set up at Murrieta High School at 42200 Nighthawk Way for those who were forced to leave their homes.
Small animals can be taken to Animal Friends of the Valley at 33751 Mission Trail in Wildomar. Meanwhile, large animals can be taken to the San Jacinto Animal Shelter at 581 S. Grand Ave. in San Jacinto.
At least 150 firefighters converged on the blaze, attacking from the ground and the air.
The South Coast AQMD has issued a smoke advisory through Monday due to the wildfire.
One firefighter suffered minor injuries during the battle, according to the Riverside County Fire Department.
The fire lit up the night sky a bright orange as it raced through the forest, burning near homes.
Aerial video from an Orange County Fire Authority helicopter shows a wall of flames advancing on a tree-lined hillside bellow a thick wall of smoke.
It’s unclear what ignited the blaze.