Wildfire in Riverside County community grows to 1,200 acres, prompting evacuations


A wildfire in the Riverside County community of La Cresta in the Cleveland National Forest has grown to 1,200 acres, prompting evacuations late Saturday, authorities said.

The blaze — dubbed the Chapparal fire — at Tenaja Road and Cleveland Forest Road began shortly after 12:30 p.m. Saturday, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection and Riverside County fire officials. More than 250 homes are under mandatory evacuation orders while an additional 59 are under an evacuation warning.

Those under mandatory evacuation north of Tenaja Truck Trail, south of Calle Cielo, east of Calle Collado and west of Calle Be Bietol can find shelter at Murrieta High School, officials said.

At least 150 firefighters assisted by Cleveland National Forest and other local fire agencies are battling the blaze, officials said. The fire is 0% contained.


The hope is to get the blaze under control before any possible wind shift occurs, said Rob Roseen, public information officer with the Riverside County Fire Department. The unincorporated community is nestled in the Cleveland National Forest.

Video shows firefighters clearing brush beneath a bright orange sky. One video from the cockpit of an Orange County Fire Authority helicopter assisting on the scene showed a massive blaze overtaking a swath of trees.

The cause of the fire is currently under investigation.