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O.C. firefighters battle brush fire near Ortega Highway [Updated]

Firefighters are battling a 2-acre brush fire near Ortega Highway in south Orange County that broke out shortly before 3 p.m. today and has continued to spread, authorities said.

The blaze, reported at 2:48 p.m. near Ortega Highway and Ronald W. Caspers Wilderness Park, is not threatening any homes, said Orange County Fire Authority Battalion Chief Kris Concepcion.

“It’s really kind of a slow rate of spread right now,” Concepcion said, adding that fire crews, including engines, two bulldozers and a helicopter, arrived on the scene at 3:04 p.m.

[Updated at 4:06 p.m.: The fire has now grown to 3 to 5 acres, authorities said.

“It’s a moderate rate of spread,” said Orange County Fire Authority Capt. George Casario, who is being dispatched to the scene. “We are attacking the fire from the ground as well as in the air.”

The fire was first reported in the 33400 block of Ortega Highway near Verdugo Canyon, an unincorporated area northeast of San Juan Capistrano.]

-- Tony Barboza in Orange County

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