Holy Fire continues to rage near Lake Elsinore-Corona line, burns 6,200 acres with 5 percent containment

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The Holy Fire was not letting up Wednesday as it continued to burn out of control in the Cleveland National Forest for the third day. (KABC)

The Holy Fire was not letting up Wednesday as it continued to burn out of control in the Cleveland National Forest for the third day.

Fire resources were being stretched to the max as crews deal with steep and rugged terrain between Orange and Riverside counties.


Hundreds of firefighters remained on the front lines, dealing with bone-dry conditions and triple-digit heat. Ten helicopters and seven fixed-wing aircraft assisted the firefighters.

Fire officials had lowered the acreage of the fire to 3,399 acres on Tuesday but raised it to 6,200 acres Wednesday afternoon. The containment remained at 5 percent.

No major injuries have been reported. Twelve structures were destroyed.

Earlier Wednesday, authorities arrested 51-year-old Forrest Gordon Clark on suspicion of felony arson among other charges. He is being held on $1 million bail and faces life in prison if convicted of all charges.

Fire crews remained outside homes overnight to protect the structures, along with residents who chose not to evacuate despite orders.

All Menifee Union District and Perris High School Union schools announced they would shut down Thursday, citing poor air quality caused by the fire.

Mandatory evacuations:
- Holy Jim and Trabuco Canyon areas, as well as the Blue Jay and Falcon campgrounds.

- Horsethief Canyon, McVicker, Rice, El Cariso, Glen Eden, Sycamore Creek, Rancho Capistrano.

A care and reception center is available at Temescal Canyon High School, 18760 El Toro Road in Lake Elsinore for residents.

Voluntary evacuation warnings:
- Highway 74 (Ortega Highway) west from Lookout Restaurant to Nichols Institute and all connecting roads in the communities of Rancho Capistrano, El Cariso Village and Blue Jay. Residents are advised to exit west to Orange County to avoid fire equipment coming up on the Elsinore side.

The fire has been burning since Monday. The cause of the blaze was unknown, although an arson suspect has been arrested in connection with the blaze.

Related Topics:
wildfirebrush firefirefightersevacuationfireTrabuco CanyonOrange CountyLake ElsinoreRiverside County
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