Mandatory evacuation orders were issued for several communities
near the Holy fire on the border of Orange and Riverside
counties, and officials said the blaze expanded by about 50
percent Wednesday, to roughly 6,200 acres.
Also Wednesday, officials announced the arrest of a man who they
believe set the fire.
Residents of McVicker Canyon, Rice Canyon, Horsethief Canyon,
Glen Eden, El Cariso Village, Sycamore Creek, Rancho Capistrano,
and the Ortega Highway corridor from the Lookout restaurant to
Nichols Institute were ordered to evacuate about 2 p.m.
Authorities also announced the closure of the Ortega Highway,
also known as Highway 74, from Grand Avenue in Lake Elsinore to
Nichols Institute in Orange County. Those in the Ortega corridor
must travel westbound only.
The fire is expected to spread south, east and north with
limited spread to the west, the U.S. Forest Service said. There
is potential for the fire to spread downslope into Lake Elsinore.
The fire, announced as at 4,129 acres early Wednesday, had
burned 6,200 acres as of Wednesday afternoon, officials
announced at a news conference.
A man was taken into custody late Tuesday on suspicion of two
counts of arson, one count of felony threat to terrorize, and
one misdemeanor count of resisting arrest. Forrest Gordon Clark,
51, is expected to appear in court on Thursday.
Hundreds of firefighters continued to fight the blaze as it
burned in Orange and Riverside counties as more voluntary
evacuation warnings went out midday Wednesday.
Fire officials were keeping an eye on the fire as it approached
Santiago Peak, where communications towers for cell phones, two-
way radios such as those used by law enforcement and airliner
internet service are located.
“It’s critical infrastructure for us,” U.S. Forest Service
spokesman Steve Rasmussen said. “It’s a major point to protect.”
Deputy Robyn Flores, a spokeswoman for the Riverside County
Sheriff’s Department, said 911 service would not be affected.
Milder temperatures on Wednesday could help the firefighters.
Temperatures near Trabuco Canyon are expected to drop below
triple digits Wednesday, according to the National Weather
Service. The cooling trend is expected to continue with
temperatures sliding into the upper-80s by the weekend.
“Hopefully, we can turn a corner,” U.S. Forest Service
spokeswoman Vickie Wright said Tuesday.
The fire was 5 percent contained midday Wednesday. Containment
is the percentage of the fire’s perimeter that firefighters have
determined the blaze will no long spread beyond.
Much of Tuesday’s fire fight took place along a ridge between
Orange and Riverside counties above the city of Lake Elsinore.
Firefighters, with the help of water- and fire-retardant-
dropping aircraft, focused on keeping the flames from going over
North Main Divide Road and into El Cariso Village in Riverside
There were reports the blaze had made it over the ridge,
prompting Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez, R-Lake Elsinore, to
post a photo and plea on Twitter asking Riverside residents in
the potential path of the fire to heed evacuation orders if
The #Holyfire has crested the mountain and has reached
Riverside County. This is the current view from my backyard in
Lake Elsinore. Please follow all evacuation orders. MM
8:35 PM - Aug 7, 2018
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Wednesday morning, smoke-darkened skies near the Riverside
County neighborhoods as the flames in the distance gave off an
The smoke from the fire is impacting communities, including
those in San Bernardino County, prompting the Mojave Desert Air
Quality Management District to issue a smoke advisory for
residents in the Mojave Desert Air Basin.
“If you can smell smoke, you’re breathing smoke,” said a
statement released by the MDAQMD on Tuesday. “When smoke is
present, residents should avoid excessive outdoor exercise or
activity. Children, seniors, people with heart or lung disease
and physically active adults are at greatest risk during poor
The San Bernardino County Department of Public Health issued a
smoke advisory for residents of the county warning “residents
with sensitive health conditions who live near areas affected by
the Holy Fire to stay alert to changing smoke levels and be
prepared to act accordingly,” in a statement.
County officials advise those with sensitivity to smoke and
pollutants to remain indoors, to use recirculated air in their
home or car air conditioning systems and to call a doctor
immediately if they begin to feel ill or have symptoms of
Holy Jim and part of the Trabuco Canyon area, both communities
are home to rustic cabins, were evacuated Monday shortly after
the fire was first reported just after 1 p.m. Monday near Holy
Jim Canyon and Trabuco Creek roads in the Cleveland National
The Blue Jay and El Cariso campgrounds were also under
evacuation orders, officials said.
Riverside County Animal Services officers are accepting domestic
pets at a care and reception center, Temescal Canyon High at
18760 El Toro Road in Lake Elsinore. Small animals may be
evacuated to Animal Friends of the Valley (951-358-7387
22751 Mission Trail in Wildomar. Livestock can be boarded at
Elsinore High at 21800 Canyon Drive, Wildomar in the care of
A temporary shelter for small and large animals is at Riding
Park, 30753 La Pata, San Juan Capistrano. Animal owners are
asked to bring photo identification, veterinary/vaccination
records, medication and any special food. Animal owners with
disabilities may call OC Animal Care at 714-935-6848
8 a.m. to 5
5 p.m. to 8 a.m. or 714-628-7085
Information numbers were changed to 714-573-6200
6202 to help keep the public informed. Cal Fire asked the public
not to call fire stations.
More information is available by following @OrangeCountyEOC,
@OCAnimalCare and @Caltrans8 on Twitter.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.
A Jerry Brown Democrat started this fire.