Wildomar Fire in Southern California grows to 700 acres

Above: Morning briefing for firefighters on the Wildomar Fire, October 27, 2017. USFS photo.

(Originally published at 12:24 p.m. PDT October 27, 2017)

According to the U.S. Forest Service Friday morning the Wildomar Fire south of Lake Elsinore in California has grown to approximately 700 acres. It was reported at 12:32 p.m. Thursday in the Wildomar Off Highway Vehicle area in the Cleveland National Forest west of the community of Wildomar.

The weather is warm and dry in the higher elevations where it is burning at 2,600′. At 9:20 a.m. Friday the El Cariso weather station 5 miles to the northwest recorded 80 degrees, 15 percent relative humidity, and a 7 mph NNE wind. But east of the fire the terrain drops 1,400′ to the Elsinore Valley where at 8:49 Friday morning  it was 57 degrees, 60 percent relative humidity, and no wind.

DC-10 map
Two DC-10 Very Large Air Tankers were working the #WildomarFire at 10:39 am PDT Friday, along with a lead plane, air attack, and at least one helicopter.

Friday’s forecast for the higher elevation is for 88 degrees, 11 percent relative humidity, and northwest to north winds of 9 mph. Saturday should be about the same.

The photo above of the Friday morning briefing showed an active smoke column not long after sunrise.

3-d map wildomar fire wildfire
3-D map showing the approximate location of the Wildomar Fire based on satellite data from 12:31 a.m. PDT October 27, 2017. The white line was the approximate perimeter at 2:11 p.m. PDT October 26, 2017.

On Thursday the USFS and CAL FIRE fought the fire aggressively with hand crews, engines, helicopters, and air tankers including one of the DC-10 Very Large Air Tankers.

The time-lapse video below shows the fire from about 14 miles to the southeast. It was shot by a camera at the Santa Margarita Ecological Reserve, from its ignition time at around 1 p.m. Thursday, overnight, and into the morning of Friday October 27, 2017.

Wildomar Fire burns hundreds of acres near Wildomar, California

Above: The Wildomar Fire burns toward the east. Screen grab from KTLA live video at 3:57 p.m. PDT October 26, 2017.

(Updated at e5:12 p.m. PDT, October 26, 2017)

(Friday morning October 27 we published an updated article on the Wildomar Fire.)

The Wildomar Fire that started early Thursday afternoon is threatening structures south of Lake Elsinore, California. The Cleveland National Forest reported that it had burned about 200 acres by 3:30 p.m. PDT. It is burning toward the northeast primarily in brush and at 4:10 p.m. it had approached the South Main Divide Road which runs toward the south from the Ortega Highway near the top of the slope west of Wildomar.

Evacuations have been ordered for the Hixon Truck Trail area.

Map Wildomar Fire
Map showing the approximate location of the Wildomar Fire at 2:11 p.m. PDT October 26, 2017.

On the live video feed from KTLA we watched one of the DC-10 Very Large Air Tankers drop retardant near the base of the slope just above residences several hundred feet away from the fire. Other air tankers and CAL FIRE helicopters are also assisting firefighters.

dc-10 air tanker wildomar fire
A DC-10 Very Large Air Tanker drops between the Wildomar Fire and the community of Wildomar.


helicopter drop spot fire
A helicopter drops water in support of a hand crew that was attacking a spot fire at 4:24 p.m. October 26, 2017. Screen grab from KTLA live video.

The weather station at El Cariso a few miles north of the fire recorded temperatures Wednesday afternoon around 90, humidity about 10 percent, and winds out of the southwest at 12 mph — conditions conducive to significant fire spread.

We will update this article as more information becomes available.