(UPDATE at 2:42 p.m. PDT, August 6, 2013)
Information Officer Marc Peeples told us that the evacuations have been lifted for LakeLand Village and Rancho Capistrano. Decker Canyon remains under a mandatory evacuation order.
One of the factors that slowed the fire activity late in the day on Monday was the rising relative humidity. At 6:41 p.m. on Monday at the Temescal weather station 10 miles north of the fire it was 38 percent which is fairly high to sustain rapid fire spread in southern California brush. At 6:41 a.m. Tuesday it was 87 percent and fell to 49 percent by 9:41 a.m.
In spite of the high humidity, Mr. Peeples said there was beginning to be a little fire activity in some of the canyons on the fire Tuesday morning.
(UPDATE at 8:44 a.m. PDT, August 6, 2013)
The Southern California Geographic Area Coordination Center reported at 8:30 a.m. PDT that the fire has burned 1,416 acres and is zero percent contained. The fire continues to move south and east and has established itself in the San Mateo Wilderness, but is holding at the ridge lines. They said the it has potential to move further north, resulting in additional structure threat and could also move into Morrell and Decker Canyons. LakeLand Village, Rancho Capistrano and Decker Canyon remain under mandatory evacuation orders, according to the Coordination Center’s 8:30 a.m. report.
Marc Peeples, an Information Officer on the Incident Management Team assigned to the fire, said at 8:45 this morning that the fire is 5 % contained and is being fought by 265 personnel. Other resources on the fire include 6 helicopters, 6 fixed wing aircraft, 16 crews, and 45 engines.
The Cleveland National Forest has not updated InciWeb since about 7 p.m. Sunday and it also says the evacuations are in effect for Lakeland Village, Decker Canyon and Rancho Capistrano residents, in spite of a report from KCAL saying some of the evacuations had been lifted.
The report from KCAL said the Ortega Highway may remain closed for days or weeks, due to firefighters working along the highway, guard rails that have to be replaced, and power lines that were damaged.
The video also has some footage of Tanker 910, a DC-10, making some impressive retardant drops adjacent to houses.
Wakoski’s Incident Management Team was scheduled to assume command of the fire Tuesday morning.
The fire was reported at 10:06 a.m. Monday west of El Cariso Engine Station in the Cleveland National Forest.
(UPDATE at 9:25 p.m. PDT, August 5, 2013)
At 9:15 p.m. the Cleveland National Forest reported the fire had burned 1,500 acres. Mandatory evacuations for Lakeland Village, Decker Canyon and Rancho Capistrano residents. Ortega Highway is closed to non-residents. Closures are at Grand Ave in Lake Elsinore and Antionio Parkway in Orange County. The evacuation perimeter is for residences between Grand/Ortega Highway and Grand/Corydon on the west side of the lake.
Official information about evacuations can be found at InciWeb.
Excellent photos of the Falls Fire.
The videos below are from the Press-Enterprise.
(Originally published at 5:54 p.m. PDT, August 5, 2013; we will update this article as needed.)
A wildfire that started Monday morning in southern California between Lake Elsinore and San Juan Capistrano spread east almost four miles and is threatening homes in the Lakeland Village community on the west side of Lake Elsinore. In the photo above captured from television at 5:13 p.m. PDT, the fire had moved across the South Main Divide road and was burning downhill at a moderate rate of spread. It appeared to be approximately 500 to 1,000 feet west of the homes in the photo in Lakeland Village south of the Ortega Highway.
As this was written at 5:54 p.m. PDT, the fire was even closer to the homes and can be seen occasionally on NBC 4’s live video feed. It was burning vigorously less than 200 feet from homes.
Several helicopters and air tankers, including a DC-10 Very Large Air Tanker, are assisting firefighters.
Referencing the map of the Falls Fire below, the fire has spread across the South Main Divide and is much closer to Lake Elsinore than shown in the heat data that was collected at 1:47 p.m. PDT today.
The media is reporting the fire has burned 1,200 acres.
It is burning near the location of the 1959 Decker Fire (see the map above) which entrapped seven firefighters. Five of them lost their lives; three were members of the El Cariso Hotshot Crew. The east-facing slope above the lake is infamous for unusual wind patterns, which was a factor in the fatalities.