Possible Lightning Strike Sets Brush Ablaze Near Murrieta, Schools Closed

A wind-driven wildfire that may have been started by a lightning strike had scorched nearly 1,400 acres just west of Murrietta, prompted evacuations and the closure of schools and was 7% contained Thursday morning.

The blaze was first reported about 3:55 p.m. Wednesday in the area of Clinton Keith and Tenaja roads, in the unincorporated community of La Cresta, according to the Riverside County Fire Department.

In the course of an hour Wednesday night, the fire exploded from 250 acres burned to nearly 1,000 acres, the fire department said.