Above: The view of the Holy Fire from Santiago Peak at 10:40 a.m. PDT August 8, 2018.
(Originally published at 10:51 a.m. PDT August 8, 2018)
The Holy Fire was very active Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, moving east down the steep slope below the North Main Divide road in the Cleveland National Forest in Southern California. The fire started Monday afternoon in Trabuco Canyon about three miles west of the North Main Divide road. That road roughly follows the ridge top through the Santa Ana Mountains between the Ortega Highway (74) and Corona . The boundary between Orange and Riverside Counties also follows that ridge.
(To see all articles about the Holy Fire on Wildfire Today, including the most recent, click HERE.)
With the assistance of air tankers, firefighters had been able to minimize the growth on the east side of the ridge in Riverside County. But on Wednesday morning the fire has progressed quite a bit down the slope. At 10 a.m. Wednesday a spokesperson for the incident management team, Steve Rasmussen, said the fire is burning in Horsethief Canyon which runs east from the North Main Divide downhill to the communities near Alberhill southwest of Interstate 15. KTLA, a Los Angeles TV station, has been reporting on the fire from a helicopter and at 9 a.m. Wednesday estimated that the fire had approached to within a mile of the Lakeview neighborhood which is north of Lake Elsinore.
A damage assessment has confirmed a total of 12 structures have been destroyed as of Wednesday morning. The incident management team did not specify if those were homes, outbuildings, or a combination of both.
As of very early Wednesday morning fire officials said the fire had burned 4,129 acres, but due to the active fire behavior it could now be significantly larger.
As of 10:51 Wednesday morning the only evacuations orders in effect were for Holy Jim Canyon, Trabuco Canyon recreation residence tracts, and the Blue Jay and Falcon Campgrounds. Areas under voluntary evacuation included Sycamore Creek, McVicker, Rice, Horsethief, and Glen Eden areas, and along the Ortega Highway west of the Lookout Restaurant.
With the other wildfires burning in California the incident management team has not been able to obtain all of the firefighting resources that they believe is needed. They are doing the best they can with what is available. As of Wednesday morning they had: 30 Fire Engines, 10 Helicopters, 7 Fixed Wing aircraft, 3 Dozers, 1 Water Tender, and 12 Hand Crews, for a total of 444 personnel. That are low numbers for the third day of a fire that is threatening many structures.