The Holy Fire is in Holy Jim Canyon in Orange County 6 miles northwest of Lake Elsinore, California
Above: the view from the Nevada Seismological Laboratory camera on Santiago Peak looking southeast at 6:52 p.m. PDT August 6, 2018.
(UPDATED at 6:44 a.m. PDT August 7, 2018)
Late Monday night the U.S. Forest Service estimated that the Holy Fire in the Cleveland National Forest east of Rancho Santa Margarita, California had burned approximately 4,000 acres, but that figure could change with more accurate mapping.
The fire started in Trabuco Canyon east of Holy Jim Canyon and rapidly ran up the very steep slopes to the North Main Divide Road at the top of the ridge. The latest rough mapping by the incident management team indicates that very little of the fire has crossed the road which is primarily on the top of the ridge. But better mapping in daylight will provide better information. That road is also near the boundary between Orange and Riverside Counties, and so far most of the blaze is in Orange County.
(To see all articles about the Holy Fire on Wildfire Today, including the most recent, click HERE.)
(Originally published at 7:27 p.m. PDT August 6, 2018)
A brush fire in Trabuco Canyon in the Cleveland National Forest in Southern California has burned at least two cabins. The blaze started around 1:30 p.m. Monday near the intersection of Holy Jim Canyon Road and Trabuco Creek Road. In mid-afternoon fire officials estimated it had burned about 1,200 acres.
It is spreading up very steep slopes in the canyons on the west side of the Santa Ana Mountains, running up to the North Main Divide Road, an elevation change of about 2,600 feet. A Los Angeles TV station, ABC7, has had intermittent live video from a helicopter showing fairly intense fire behavior, with frequent fire whirls on the flaming front.
The fire is two miles east of the community of Trabuco Canyon, three miles southeast of Temescal Valley, and six miles northwest of Lake Elsinore.
Above: Smokejumpers descend over the Holy Fire August 31, 2016. USFS photo.
(Originally published at 11:08 a.m. PDT September 1, 2016. Updated at 1:44 p.m. PDT September 1, 2016)
Until yesterday smokejumpers had never parachuted into a fire on the Cleveland National Forest. This was the only National Forest in California that had not yet inserted jumpers in this manner. Occasionally jumpers are assigned to a fire but arrive in a conventional manner, on the ground.
They were ordered for the Holy Fire just off of Trabuco Creek Road 2.2 miles east of the city of Robinson Ranch in Orange County, California. The fire burned 155 acres between the road and the Bell View Trail at the top of the ridge above Trabuco Canyon. The fire ran to the top of the north-facing slope and stopped thanks to the efforts of firefighters on the ground, the change in topography and fuels, and the heavy use of helicopters and air tankers, including a DC-10.
Thursday morning there were 273 personnel assigned to the Holy Fire, which got its name from the nearby Holy Jim Canyon.
The Cleveland National Forest stretches between the greater Los Angeles metropolitan area and the outskirts of San Diego.
Jason Foreman with the Redding Smokejumpers said the 16 jumpers were dispatched from Redding and Porterville using a U.S. Forest Service Sherpa and a contract Dornier aircraft, each with 8 firefighters. The arrival of the Dornier out of Porterville was delayed due to the very busy air space in southern California. The jumpers from Porterville landed on the ground at approximately 6:30 p.m. PDT, while the Redding squad all completed their jumps by 7:50 p.m Wednesday, Mr. Foreman said.
“A critical piece of line needed to be secured in an expeditious manner. The terrain to get to the ridgeline was steep and had limited access” Olivia Walker, spokesperson for the Cleveland National Forest said when asked why local firefighters were not used instead of the smokejumpers. “There were no personnel available to staff the section of line that was used to insert the Smokejumpers on”, she explained.
Four firefighters suffered heat-related injuries and were extracted by helicopters. The fire was managed in a unified command with the U.S. Forest Service and the Orange County Fire Authority.
Access to the base of the fire was via Trabuco Creek Road. A 3-mile hike from Robinson Ranch on the Bell Ridge Trail would take you to the top of the fire. The terrain at the fire is very steep. Hikers on the trail would have a 1,500-foot elevation change — up.