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Climate and Environment

Jim Fire In Cleveland National Forest Has Burned 553 Acres And Is 15% Contained

Smoke rises behind a communication tower on a mountainside.
(Courtesy Cleveland National Forest via Twitter)
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A fire that broke out Wednesday in Cleveland National Forest has burned about 550 acres and caused a towering smoke column visible from several parts of Los Angeles and Orange counties.

Cleveland National Forest officials reported Thursday that the Jim Fire, is now 15% contained.

"Firefighters are able to get into areas and put line around it, utilizing aircraft and helicopters dropping water and retardant on the fire perimeters," said Nathan Judy, a public affairs officer for Cleveland National Forest.

Coming showers expected this evening should help the fire and the dry weather punishing the state.

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The Background

The Jim Fire started at the canyon bottom of the Holy Jim Trail, near the Riverside-Orange County line, around 11:20 a.m. The fire expanded quickly, from 10 acres to 60, in just one hour. Within three hours, the blaze covered 400 acres, according to Judy.

Here's a map of the location:

There were no reports of injuries or damaged structures. Judy says the 2018 Holy Fire burn scar area helped slow the Jim Fire and gave firefighters from the federal forest service, Orange County Fire Authority and Riverside County Fire time to respond.

As of Thursday morning, an estimated 250 firefighting personnel were on the scene.

Judy said fires have gotten bigger over the years and the threat is now year-round. "Last week, we had snow on the ground in that area," he said. "This week, it melted off, it dried up and it just took one spark to start a fire."

Forest officials said the cause of the fire is currently under investigation. People with cabins in the area have told the Desert Sun they'd been asked to leave the area for a Marine exercise and have raised questions about whether there is a connection to the fire.

Follow the latest information on the Jim Fire:

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