Wildfires trigger evacuations in Lake Elsinore, injure firefighters in San Bernardino County


Two wildfires that broke out in Southern California on Monday scorched a total of about 300 acres in Lake Elsinore and Waterman Canyon, triggering evacuation orders and road closures.

The Rose fire, reported about 2:20 p.m., quickly burned about 200 acres in the foothills of Lake Elsinore, drawing a response from more than 200 firefighters and three helicopters, according to the Riverside County Fire Department.

About 8:10 p.m., Riverside County fire officials lifted all evacuation orders, which were in effect for several hours; an evacuation center was opened at Elsinore High School. Authorities warned motorists to drive through the fire area with caution.


Investigators determined the fire — which was 10% contained as of 9 p.m. — was caused “accidentally by equipment,” according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. Further details were not available.

Meanwhile in San Bernardino County, the Mile fire scorched about 100 acres in Waterman Canyon and forced the closure of Highway 18 in both directions between 40th Avenue and Highway 138, according to the U.S. Forest Service. Officials did not indicate when the highway would reopen.

Nine firefighters were hospitalized with heat-related injuries.

About 160 firefighters, including ground and air units, were tackling the blaze. Authorities are investigating the cause of the fire.

In Diamond Bar, a 2½-acre brush fire was burning uphill toward homes Monday afternoon before firefighters stopped its progress.

Twitter: @AleneTchek


9:35 p.m.: This article was updated with additional information on the size of the fires and injuries to firefighters.

This article was originally published at 5:30 p.m.