Valley News -

By Stephanie Lai
Intern 

UPDATED: Firefighters make headway on Holy Fire

Brusher chars 4,000 acres, reaches 2 percent containment

 

Last updated 8/9/2018 at 2:08pm

Kristina Brantsma Photo

A spectacular plume of smoke rises high above the Holy Fire on Tuesday.

Update: Aug. 7, 2:45 p.m.

U.S. Forest Service officials are calling for voluntary evacuations along the Ortega Highway corridor from the Lookout Restaurant to

the Nichols Institute, along with all connecting roads in Rancho Capistrano, El Cariso Village and Blue Jay, due to the continuing Holy Fire.

People in the affected area are being urged to exit the area west into Orange County to avoid fire crews using the roadway on the Riverside County side of Highway 74.

The fire remains at 2 percent containment and 4,000 acres.

Currently, 10 helicopters and five air tankers are supporting the 600 firefighters on the ground.

This is a breaking news story and will be updated as more information becomes available.

Update: Aug. 7, 11:30 a.m.

Thanks to some risky overnight air operations, firefighters are reporting 2 percent containment in the Holy Fire, which broke out shortly after 2 p.m., Monday, Aug. 6.

The blaze, which is burning in heavy fuels, has charred 4,000 acres as of the most recent report.

A current fire map shows the brusher still burning in Orange County, not crossing into Riverside County, as previously reported.

Rangers said the goal was to keep the flame front from rolling downhill toward Corona, Glen Ivy and surrounding communities bordering the federal land.

Low humidity combined with high temperatures and 10-12 mph windsin the Corona area Tuesday afternoon could hamper firefighting efforts.

Crews from Orange County, Riverside County and Cal Fire continue working through dense vegetation to attempt to get a line around the blaze.

No major containment is expected today.

The area has not burned in nearly 40 years, according to Cleveland National Forest.

This is a breaking news story and will be updated as more information becomes available.

UPDATE: Aug. 7, 12:30 a.m.

The Holy Fire, which was first reported at about 2:18 p.m. Monday, Aug. 6, has charred more than 4,000 acres and currently has no containment, according to the most recent update by the Cleveland National Forest Public Information Office.

The smoke plume from the blaze, which firefighters battled in scorching temperatures and light winds, could be seen for miles as the fire raged through the Cleveland National Forest, eventually crossing into Riverside County.

The fire continues to burn at a moderate rate of speed and evacuations for the Holy Jim community, Trabuco Canyon area, Blue Jay Campground and El Cariso Campground.

Road closures have been put into effect for the Holy Fire at Trabuco Creek Road at Trabuco Canyon Rd and Robinson Ranch at Country Hollow Lane, according to the Orange County Emergency Operations Center.

All campgrounds are now closed on the Trabuco Ranger District. Forest road closures have been put into place on Trabuco Creek, Maple Springs, North Main Divide, Bedford and Indian Truck Trail.

Air quality may reach unhealthy levels or higher in areas directly impacted by smoke, including portions of Orange County, Riverside County, and San Bernardino County," according to the South Coast Air Quality Management District.

Currently light northerly winds during are expected to continue through the overnight hours.

"During the overnight and early morning hours, downslope winds may bring smoke into the valleys west and southwest of the fire," SCAQMD said.

At least two structures have reportedly burned in the fire.

Residents near the fire should begin preparations for evacuation, including packing a bag with important paperwork and necessary medications. If asked to evacuate, residents should leave the area immediately.

Kim Harris contributed to this story.

This is a breaking news story and will be updated as more information becomes available.

UPDATE: Aug. 6, 9:55 p.m.

As of about 8:15 p.m., the fire had scorched around 4,000 acres and zero containment with a "moderate rate of spread,'' rolling downhill toward the Main Divide forest road, within sight of south Corona, El Cerrito, and Glen Ivy Hot Springs, according to the U.S. Forest Service.

The South Coast Air Quality Management District warned that during the overnight and early morning hours, downslope winds could bring smoke into the valleys west and southwest of the fire. Portions of Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties were likely to be impacted.

"Air quality may reach unhealthy levels or higher in areas directly impacted by smoke,'' according to an SCAQMD statement.

This is a breaking news story and will be updated when more information becomes available.

UPDATE: Aug. 6, 6:34 p.m.

Road closures have been put into effect for the Holy Fire at Trabuco Creek Road at Trabuco Canyon Rd and Robinson Ranch at Country Hollow Lane, according to the Orange County Emergency Operations Center.

All campgrounds are now closed on the Trabuco Ranger District. Forest road closures have been put into place on Trabuco Creek, Maple Springs, North Main Divide, Bedford and Indian Truck Trail.

Night air operations have been ordered for the blaze and two firefighters have suffered from heat releated injuries among the 600 hundred people on the scene.

UPDATE: Aug. 6, 5:35 p.m.

The Orange County Fire Authority has ordered Strike Team Type 2 (6331C) to assist on scene of the Holy Fire, according to a Twitter posting by the Cleveland National Forest.

The fire which was first reported to the California Highway Patrol at 2:18 p.m. today, has burned at least 1,200 acres and one cabin, as of a 5 p.m. update from the Cleveland National Forest. The fire is moving at a moderate rate of spread.

Two hikers were rescued from the area earlier today and are safe, according to the Orange County Fire Authority.

Evacuations are in place for the Holy Jim community, Trabuco Canyon area, Blue Jay Campground and El Cariso Campground.

According to the Orange County Emergency Operations Center, Red Cross workers have set up a Care & Reception Center for those affected by the fire at the Bell Tower Regional Community Center in Rancho Santa Margarita at 22232 El Paseo.

This is a breaking news story and will be updated as more information becomes available.

UPDATE: Aug. 6, 4:35 p.m.

As of 4 p.m., the Holy fire had already scorched more than 1,000 acres, said Jeanna Smith of the Cleveland National Forest.

According to Orange County Fire Authority Capt. Tony Bommarito, one cabin has been engulfed by the fire, which is burning in the Cleveland National Forest in the Holy Jim Canyon area.

Firefighters are working to halt the fire's march at the North Main Divide, the dirt road along the crest of the mountain, Smith said. "Homes along Interstate 15 are about a couple of miles away."

Following the precautionary evacuation orders for the Holy Jim community and Trabuco Canyon area, Blue Jay Campground and El Cariso Campground off Highway 74 have also evacuated.

Burning amid near-triple-digit temperatures with minimal wind, the blaze sent up a massive cloud of smoke that could be seen for miles in all directions.

The U.S. Forest Service had taken the lead in coordinating efforts to douse the blaze with roughly a dozen water-dropping aircrafts.

The Orange County Fire Authority is reporting that two hikers who were stranded near the fire have been evacuated and are safe.

This is a breaking news story and will be updated when more information becomes available.

Kim Harris and City News Service contributed to this report.

ORIGINAL STORY:

ORANGE COUNTY – A brush fire that erupted in the Cleveland National Forest in the Holy Jim Canyon area of Orange County has grown to 75-100 acres and is spreading rapidly, sending up a large plume of smoke visible throughout the area. The blaze is northwest of Lake Elsinore.

Orange County Fire Authority officials say the Holy Fire" is moving toward Riverside County. U.S. Forest Service crews are also on the scene.

The Vegetation is "well-established" in current vegetation, according to the Cleveland National Forest Twitter page.

Resources are ordered and in route, the tweet reported.

There were unconfirmed early reports of one structure being consumed by the flames, but Orange County Fire Authority Capt. Tony Bommarito told ABC7 that no structures were immediately being threatened.

Precautionary evacuation orders were issued for the Holy Jim community, home to dozens of cabins. No evacuation center was immediately established. Trabuco Canyon is also under an evacuation order, according to social media postings.

United States Forest Service - Cleveland National Forest

By 9 p.m. Aug. 6, officials were reporting that the Holy Fire had reached 4,000 acres burned.

No injuries were reported as of about 90 minutes into the firefight.

Nearly a dozen water-dropping aircraft were being used to help control the blaze, with the U.S. Forest Service taking the lead in coordinating efforts to douse the blaze.

Bommarito told ABC7 the fire is burning in "medium to heavy brush that hasn't been burned for almost 40 years.'"

He estimated the area had not burned since about 1980.

Trabuco and Holy Jim canyons are under a mandatory evacuation.

City News Service contributed to this story.

This is a breaking news story and will be updated as more information becomes available.

 

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