Holy Fire forces evacuations in Orange County

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According to the U.S. Forest Service, The Holy Fire in Orange County is forcing evacuations. The blaze in the Cleveland National Forest has burned more than 4,000 acres and is now threatening homes and other structures.

There are 17 aircraft fighting the fire, along with 12 crews of firefighters.

Twelve structures have already been consumed and as of this morning the fires was 5% contained.

Forrest Gordon Clark

According to the U.S. Forest Service, one man has been arrested in relation to the fire; Forrest Gordon Clark. He is 51 years old and was booked into Orange County Jail today (August 8, 2018) on suspicion of two counts of felony arson, one count of felony threat to terrorize, and one count of misdemeanor resisting arrest.

Highway 74 eastbound is closed. All residents along the Highway 74 corridor must travel eastbound only.

Mandatory evacuations have been ordered for: Painted Hills, McVicker Canyon, Rice Canyon, Horsethief Canyon, El Cariso, Rancho Capistrano, Blue Jay, Indian Canyon, Glen Eden, Sycamore Creek and Mayhew Canyon.

A “Care and Reception Center” has been set up at Temescal Canyon High School, 28755 El Toro Rd, Lake Elsinore, CA 92532. There is an evacuation center at San Juan Hills High School, 29211 Stallion Ridge, San Juan Capistrano, 92675.

Contact: Fire Information (714) 573-6210 or (714) 573-6202 and keep up-to-date with their Twitter.

Mendocino Complex Fire

The Mendocino Complex Fire has now consumed over 300,000 acres and is the largest fire in state history. It began just 12 days ago and has claimed the lives of two people.

Mendocino, Lake and Colusa counties all have mandatory evacuations and Mendocino, Lake and Glenn counties have evacuations advisories and warnings. Click here for more detailed information.

Carr Fire

The Carr Fire is now over 175,000 acres and has claimed the lives of seven people. Click here for more detailed information.

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UPDATE: The Holy Fire is now moving towards Lake Elsinore and new evacuations are being mandated. As of 9:50 p.m., Thursday, August 9, the Holy Fire is at 10,236 Acres and 5% contained.

According to the U.S. Forkes Service:

“Steep inaccessible terrain will continue to allow the fire to spread into new areas and align for strong head fire runs and lateral movement. Fire continues to spread east and north with only limited spread to the west. The fire will continue to impact subdivisions along the foothills of Riverside County. There remains the daily potential for an “Elsinore” down slope event. The atmosphere over the fire continues to be very unstable and will allow for large column development and active to extreme fire behavior.

“Forecasted weather for the fire area will see temperatures between 91-97 and relative humidity of 30-40 percent and could see gusty winds to 25 mph from the west. These conditions will increase the likelihood of extreme fire behavior as well as heat illness issues for the firefighters and the public. Monsoonal moisture coupled with an approaching eastern hurricane will increase instability and bring scattered thunderstorms to portions of Southeastern California. This combination will result in a period of near critical fire weather over the Holy Fire. Drying and warming over the weekend with gusty local winds with midlevel moisture will return to the area leading to more instability, gusty winds and a chance for thunderstorms.

“The incident has issued mandatory evacuation notices for Mayhew/Sycamore Creek, Glen Eden, Horsethief, Rice Canyon, Rice Lake, McVicker, Machado and South El Cariso, Riverside and Shoreline zones. The evacuation area covers 7,449 single family homes and numerous commercial structures with estimated evacuees totaling 21,484 people.

“There are hard road closures for the areas under evacuation order. Until these closures are lifted, residents are not permitted back to check on or get small animals.

“After completing a structure assessment in the Holy Jim community, there are 12 confirmed structures lost during the initial attack phase of the fire.

“The incident is now in unified command with US Forest Service, CAL Fire, Riverside County Fire, Orange County Fire Authority, and the California Highway Patrol.”

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UPDATE: As of 10:17 A.M. Friday Morning (Aug. 10) the U.S. Forest Service is reporting the fire has now spread to 18, 137 acres. As of that report no further evacuations have been issued.

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UPDATE 6:25 p.m., August 11, 2018: The Holy fire has grown to over 21,000 acres and his 29% contained.

The unified command is holding a community meeting at Temescal Valley Elementary School in the Trilogy Community of the City of Corona. It can be viewed here.

We will add updates as they become available.

Photos courtesy of the U.S. Forest Service, Cleveland N.F. Twitter