Holy Fire containment rises to 51 percent; 22,714 acres burned in Riverside County

TRABUCO CANYON, Calif. (KABC) -- Fire officials on Sunday announced that containment of the massive Holy Fire has reached 51 percent, offering more hope to residents of Riverside and Orange counties even as thousands of homes remained threatened.

The wildfire's acreage inched upward to 22,714 with more than 1,500 firefighters on the front lines of the inferno that has already destroyed 12 structures in the Cleveland National Forest.

As the fire entered its seventh day, helicopters and airplanes continued to drop fire retardant on flames burning in otherwise inaccessible terrain. In some neighborhoods, entire blocks were covered with red Phos-Chek.

WATCH: Time-lapse footage shows Holy Fire's progression
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Thursday can be seen turning to Friday as the flames and smoke continue to engulf the land and sky near the Lake Elsinore-Corona line.

The U.S. Forest Service lifted evacuations for the areas of Horsethief Canyon in Corona, and McVicker and Rice canyons in Lake Elsinore. Cleveland National Forest officials lifted mandatory evacuations for the Machado community and voluntary evacuations for the Shoreline community. Still, approximately 2,700 properties remain threatened and 7,000 are under a mandatory evacuation order.

More than 21,400 people were originally under evacuation orders, though many in Lake Elsinore and other areas remained behind in an effort to defend their homes. Others fled to safety.

Heavy smoke and ash has forced weather officials to extend a smoke advisory through the weekend for Riverside, Orange and San Bernardino counties.

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In the six days since flames erupted, there's only been one report of a burglar in evacuation areas, and police have made an arrest.

California Gov. Jerry Brown has declared a state of emergency in Riverside and Orange counties, which triggered a state law banning price gouging.

The state of California prohibits hotels from charging evacuees a price that is more than 10 percent of the regular price.

Gaining control of the flames is still the biggest concern, since the fire has delayed the start of school for many schools in the Corona-Norco Unified School District.

Mandatory evacuations:

-Mountain Street at Avocado Way in the McVicker Canyon community where the pavement ends.

- El Cariso, Rancho Capistrano, Blue Jay, Indian Canyon, Glen Eden, Sycamore Creek and Mayhew Canyon.

- All homes on the mountainside of Lake Street and southwest of Grand Avenue to Ortega Highway.

A care and reception center is available at Temescal Canyon High School, 28755 El Toro Rd Lake Elsinore CA 92532 for residents. There is also an evacuation center at the San Juan Hills High School, located at 29211 Stallion Ridge, San Juan Capistrano.

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.

Road closures remain in place at De Palma Road between Horsethief Canyon and Indian Truck Trail, along with Campbell Road at Temescal Canyon.

The Trilogy community is under voluntary evacuation, effective Sunday.

School closures:

-Corona-Norco Unified School District schools include: Corona High, Centennial High, Santiago High, Pollard High, Orange Grove High, Citrus Hills Intermediate, Corona Fundamental Intermediate, El Cerrito Middle Raney Intermediate, Home Gardens Academy, Todd Academy, Susan B. Anthony, Eisenhower Elementary, Foothill Elementary, Franklin Elementary, Garretson Elementary, Jefferson Elementary, Lincoln Fundamental Orange Elementary, Stallings Elementary, Temescal Valley Elementary, Vicentia Elementary and Wilson Elementary.

-Lake Elsinore Unified School District Schools include: Luiseno School, Rice Canyon Elementary, Terra Cota Middle School and Withrow Elementary. District officials said they will be closed until Aug. 20.

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The latest on evacuations and closures due to the Holy Fire near Riverside and Orange counties.

The fire has been burning since Monday, when it was first reported around 1:30 p.m. near Holy Jim Canyon and Trabuco Creek roads - across the main divide between Orange and Riverside counties.

Fire officials say they expect to reach full containment by Friday.

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