LAKE ELSINORE (CBSLA.com) — A brush fire has burned 200 acres near Lake Elsinore that started just after 2 p.m. Monday.
The fire was close to homes and wildlife forcing evacuations at Amorose Street and Toft Street. People were seen walking their horses to safety as San Bernardino Fire crews set back fires to help protect homes.
An evacuation center had been set up at Elsinore High School at 21800 Canyon Drive. Evacuations orders were lifted Monday night.
Investigators say the fire might have been accidentally started by a homeowner who was just trying to clear some brush.
“It just happened so fast, he was mowing down some of the brush and something caught from the mower,” witness Lorin Zoller said. “It just started small, when we got here, but it was out of our hands. It took the fire department a little while to get here.”
The fire started in an area that’s hard for fire crews to get to. That’s why homeowners say this fire spread so quickly. As of 10 p.m. conditions got a lot better. Even though there’s no official containment numbers yet, the fire looks like it’s starting to lay down.
Authorities say everything is so dry in the area, there’s so much fuel for a fire and things can get out of hand pretty quickly. Within just a couple of hours the fire moved down the hillside and got pretty close to some neighborhoods. No homes have been lost.