The so-called Tenaja Fire has spread to several cities in Riverside County, including Murrietta, 80 miles from Los Angeles. Officials canceled Friday classes for the entire Murrietta Valley United School District due to the fires and police officers were going door to door issuing evacuation orders.
Riverside County officials have issued a health warning, urging people living in nearby areas to limit their time spent outdoors due to smoke and ash.
The blaze broke out around 4 p.m. Wednesday, and quickly grew from 25 to 994 acres burned, and then reached 2,000 acres Thursday.
The cause of the fire was not yet known.
Approximately 500 firefighters were deployed to battle the fire, which was only seven percent contained. The fire has not yet done extensive damage to homes, however.
"The fire probably came within a couple thousand feet of homes," a spokesman for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CALFIRE) told the Los Angeles Times.
Firefighters' efforts were aided overnight Wednesday by humid conditions and water drops from helicopters, but powerful wind gusts and temperatures climbing up into the 90s Thursday exacerbated the flames.