Steady rain prompts evacuation orders in Woolsey, Holy and Thomas fire burn areas

LAKE ELSINORE, Calif. (KABC) -- A series of storms moved through the Southland this week, prompting evacuation orders in areas affected by the Thomas, Woolsey and Holy fires.

Many of the orders had been lifted as of Friday morning.

On Wednesday night, authorities issued a mandatory evacuation for a Riverside County community in the Holy Fire burn area.

Residents of the community of Laguna A, located to the west of Lake Elsinore, were ordered to evacuate immediately Wednesday evening.

"People in this zone MUST GO NOW," Riverside County authorities wrote in an evacuation notice. "Rainstorms carry the potential for dangerous debris flows that can send mud, boulders and trees crashing down hillsides."

Voluntary evacuation orders in several of other communities in the Lake Elsinore area were made mandatory Thursday morning. Maps of the Riverside County burn areas under voluntary or mandatory evacuation orders are available here.

The Holy Fire burned through about 23,000 acres in the Cleveland National Forest in Orange and Riverside counties in August 2018. The flames stripped hillsides bare, leaving them less able to absorb the flow of water, and leading to an increased danger of mudslides and debris flows.

Los Angeles County issued mandatory evacuation orders for portions of the Woolsey Fire burn area as rain doused the region throughout week.

By Tuesday, evacuation orders - mandatory and voluntary - were issued for parts of Ventura County affected by the Woolsey and Thomas fires.


Woolsey Fire

All evacuation orders have been lifted for the Woolsey Fire burn area, L.A. County fire officials said Thursday.

A shelter for small animals was set up at the Agoura Hills Animal Care Center, 29525 Agoura Rd.

La Tuna Canyon Fire

Mandatory evacuations were ordered for areas in Burbank that were affected by the La Tuna Canyon Fire.

The following areas were under the orders:

All of Hamline Place
925-1030 Groton Drive
830-849 Stephen Road
907-936 Irving Drive
2906 & 2934 Olney Place
2934 Remy Place
2949 Mystic View Place
3430-3436 Brace Canyon Road

3301-3310 Brookshire Court
3318, 3321, 3322, 3422 Wedgewood Lane
3514-3519 Folkstone Court
3529-3530 Castleman Lane

The designated evacuation site is McCambridge Recreation Center, 1515 N Glenoaks Blvd.


Woolsey and Thomas fires

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Light-to-moderate rain created some mud in the Oak Park Woolsey Fire burn area on Tuesday, but no major problems were reported.

Mandatory evacuation orders were issued for the following areas:

Ventura Beach RV - Campers relocated to Ventura state beach parking lot
Unincorporated areas of Thousand Oaks
Sage Mountain Senior Living Facility
South coast of Ventura County, near Malibu
Matilija, Wheeler Springs, North Fork (extending along Oso Road)
Homes east of Highway 33, Casitas Springs (Vista Burn area)

Voluntary evacuations were ordered for the following places:

Bell Canyon
Oak Park
Vista burn area
La Conchita

The following schools were also evacuated due to the possibility of mudslides:

De Anza Academy of Technology and the Arts

Lincoln Elementary School
Loma Vista Elementary School
Cabrillo Middle School
Ventura High School

So far no evacuation center has been established for the areas placed under mandatory orders.

Ventura County also issued advisories for Camarillo Springs, Nye Road and areas west of Highway 33, near Sycamore and Edison drives because of unpredictable conditions.

Residents can check an incident map which shows the areas under evacuation orders and spots that may be next. You can access it by clicking here.

A shelter for small animals was set up at the Agoura Hills Animal Care Center, 29525 Agoura Rd.


All evacuation orders for the Holy Fire burn area were canceled at midnight Thursday, according to the Riverside County Emergency Management Department.

Residents of the community of Laguna A, located to the west of Lake Elsinore, had been ordered to evacuate immediately Wednesday night.

Other evacuation orders for the Holy Fire burn area were also upgraded to mandatory, Cal Fire officials tweeted Thursday morning.

The mandatory evacuations included the following areas:

Amorose, Alberhill, Alvarado-A, Glen Ivy A, Glen Ivy B, Glen Eden, Grace, Horsethief A, Laguna-B, Matri, McVicker A, Rice, Withrow A. Lakeside-A was under a voluntary evacuation warning. More than 1,000 homes are part of the evacuation. This includes 2,600 residents who were urged to leave ahead of heavy rain.

Classes were also canceled at Rice Canyon and Withrow elementary schools in Lake Elsinore.

These areas were under the threat of major debris flow that had the potential to send mud, boulders and trees crashing down into the hillsides that were impacted by the Holy Fire.

MORE: 7-day Southern California forecast

A care and reception center was opened at Temescal Canyon High School, 28755 El Toro Road in Lake Elsinore, authorities said.

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Crews with heavy equipment assembled in Lake Elsinore, trying to shore up a creek bed by basically digging it out from the last storm. In addition, K-rails were set up around homes which were impacted by heavy mud flow during the last rain event.

The Lake Elsinore area was hit hard Dec. 6 when rain sent mud and debris cascading down the hillsides.

Residents prepared for the worst, filling up sandbags to protect their homes.
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