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Holy Fire Update: Mandatory Evacuations Ordered As Flames Threaten Homes, Firefighters Injured


New mandatory evacuations were issued for Elsinore, California, as the fast-moving Holy Fire topped 10,000 acres, moving dangerously towards homes in Lake Elsinore. Here, a plane dumps fire retardant as the Holy Fire spreads close to a residential area in Lake Elsinore, California, Aug. 8, 2018. Photo: Camille Collins/via REUTERS

By Vaishnavi Vaidyanathan, International Business Times

A firefighter has sustained third degree burn injuries and is being transported to a nearby hospital. Rice Canyon Elementary School is also reportedly on fire. The Temescal road between Indian Truck Trail and Lake St. has been closed to allow fire crew to access the area.

Original story:

New mandatory evacuations were issued for Elsinore, California, Thursday as the fast-moving Holy Fire topped 10,000 acres, moving dangerously towards homes in Lake Elsinore.

The order was in effect for “all homes on the mountainside of Lake St and southwest of Grand Ave to Ortega Highway,” the Cleveland National Forest Service said. Approximately 7,000 homes and 20,495 people are under emergency evacuation orders.

Fire officials told residents at a community meeting in Lake Elsinore that the fire which began Monday in Orange County has destroyed at least 12 cabins and remains only five percent contained. Pink fire retardants have been placed around homes in Elsinore in preparation of flames racing towards them.

[post_ads]According to reports, two firefighters were injured battling the blaze Thursday. While the first firefighter fell and fractured a knee, the second reportedly twisted an ankle.

All forest roads were closed in Trabuco Creek, Maple Springs, North Main Divide, Bedford and Indian Truck Trail. Campgrounds in the Trabuco Ranger District were also shut.

Schools in Menifee Unified and Perris Union High School districts have been closed due to poor air quality caused by the fire.

Although the firefighters felt the weather was slightly more favorable Thursday than in the past three days, the flames got closer to homes.

Firefighters worked quickly to save dozens of homes in McVicker Canyon area Thursday as flames raced up the brush against the backyard fences. While some residents fled at the last minute, the others stayed behind to protect their houses.

“It got to a point where it felt fruitless because of the intensity of the heat and winds. It was too overwhelming,” said a resident who stayed behind to protect his two-story home. “The firemen have done a really good job,” he added.

Voluntary evacuations were announced for the Shoreline community of Lake Elsinore and south of Grand Avenue Thursday evening.

Kathy Kramer, a spokeswoman for the unified fire management team led by the Cleveland National Forest and Cal Fire Riverside said the fire crew is particularly worried about the northeast flank, as the blaze was a few miles away from homes.

An evacuation center has been opened at San Juan Hills High School in San Juan Capistrano, while a care and reception center was established at Temescal Canyon High School in Lake Elsinore.
Though the official cause of the fire remains unknown, 51-year-old Forrest Gordon Clark was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of felony arson among other charges in connection to the blaze. According to an official, Clark sent a text to a volunteer fire chief two weeks ago saying, "The place is going to burn.” He is expected to make a court appearance Friday.

According to the Orange County Fire Authority investigators, the fire started near Clark’s cabin and of the several cabins in the area, his was the only one that was not destroyed by the blaze.

“This is a monster, who would go out with low humidity, and high wind, and the highest heat temperatures this time of year, and intentionally set the forest on fire,” Orange County Supervisor Todd Spitzer said while briefing about Clark's involvement.


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U.S. - U.S. Daily News: Holy Fire Update: Mandatory Evacuations Ordered As Flames Threaten Homes, Firefighters Injured
Holy Fire Update: Mandatory Evacuations Ordered As Flames Threaten Homes, Firefighters Injured
U.S. - U.S. Daily News
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