Firefighters battle blaze in Cleveland National Forest
RANCHO SANTA MARGARITA, Calif. (AP) — Firefighters on the ground and in the air battled a smoky wildfire Wednesday in Southern California's Cleveland National Forest.
The fire was reported around 11:20 a.m. in the Holy Jim Trail area and by 2 p.m. had consumed about 400 acres (162 hectares) of brush along steep slopes.
Forward progress had slowed by about 3:30 p.m., national forest officials said.
More than 100 firefighters were dispatched, with air tankers and helicopters dropping water and retardant on the blaze, dubbed the Jim Fire.
No structures were threatened. The fire sent up a huge plume of smoke visible across Orange County and beyond.
It erupted on the last day of a winter heat wave, with temperatures in the 80s (about 29 Celsius) and very dry humidity levels. Rain and cooler temperatures were expected on Thursday.
The fire's cause was under investigation.