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Crews battle 400-acre wildfire in Southern California after multiple days of warm weather

California Wildfire
Posted at 7:48 PM, Mar 02, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-02 19:50:14-05

California fire crews were battling a wildfire that broke out and was still blazing on Wednesday. The fire started burning across some 60 acres of land in Southern California, but quickly grew to an area of at least 400 acres, authorities said.

The large fire was burning in the Cleveland National Forest in the Holy Jim trail area, which is a 10.8 mile back trail near Corona, California that is heavily trafficked by hikers and mountain bikers.

Staff with the Cleveland National Forrest shared photos of the blaze on Twitter and reported that the fire was moving at a "moderate rate of speed." Firefighters had not been able to contain it by late afternoon on Wednesday. Authorities are calling this wildfire the Jim Fire, and said it started just before noon on Wednesday.

According to City News Service in Southern California, eight engine crews and two hand crews were deployed to battle the blaze, with firefighters having to enter thick brush and vegetation to try and get control of it. Two air tankers and two water-dropping helicopters were also called in to assist.

Thick plumes of smoke in the air could be seen from most of Orange and Riverside county, between San Diego and Los Angeles.

It wasn't immediately clear what sparked the blaze, and officials in the Cleveland National Forrest had been planning to conduct a prescribed burn in a different location before this wildfire began.

In late February crews battled a wildfire that broke out near Owens Valley, Calif. That fire continued to actively burn in the remote Owens Valley in eastern California while firefighters worked to try and stop it from harming small communities there.