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Wildomar fire expected to be fully contained Monday

By in Press Enterprise on October 29, 2017

By Liset Marquez

Fire officials expect full containment Monday morning of the Wildomar fire, which has charred 850 acres in the Cleveland National Forest.

As of Sunday morning, the fire was 90 percent contained, said Cleveland National Forest spokeswoman Olivia Walker.

“There was no forward progress of the fire overnight,” she said. The fire hasn’t grown since Friday.

Walker said crews will be focusing their attention Sunday on a portion of the eastern edge where there is still fire activity.

Walker said 870 fire personnel were on scene Sunday morning but she expects the figure to go down in the afternoon.

Orange County Fire Authority’s all-hazard incident team — which came in Friday to help manage the fire — and Cal Fire were expected to transition command of the fire Sunday morning to the Cleveland National Forest, she said.

The fire broke out Thursday afternoon at the Wildomar Off-Highway Vehicle Area west of Wildomar and south of Lake Elsinore when a dirt bike crashed into a tree and some fuel leaked out and caught fire. The 18-year-old driver, who suffered minor injuries, tried to put out the flames, but when he couldn’t, he ran the 2 miles back to his truck and called authorities.

The fire prompted evacuation orders for about 200 homes in the area; residents were allowed back Friday.

Walker said the Wildomar OHV Area and campground could be closed for at least a year.

“We need time to repair the area but we also need to give the area time to recover, largely on its own,” she said.

Not only was the campground badly damaged, Walker said, but the riding area and trails will also need to be repaired.

Authorities are still trying to assess how much that will cost and what funds can be obtained to do the work, she said.

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