Gov. Brown Declares State Of Emergency For Holy Fire-Ravaged Riverside, Orange Counties

LAKE ELSINORE (CBSLA) — With thousands of people ordered to evacuate the area where the Holy Fire continues to burn out of control, Gov. Jerry Brown has declared a state of emergency for the counties of Riverside and Orange.

The Holy Fire is just 5 percent contained as it burns into a fourth day, scorching 10,236 acres. The wildfire started in the Orange County side of the Cleveland National Forest and has moved east toward Lake Elsinore in Riverside County, getting dangerously close to mountain-side homes, and north into Coldwater Canyon towards Santiago Peak.

The governor’s declaration allows the state Office of Emergency Services to provide assistance to the counties faster and more efficiently.

Mandatory evacuation orders have been issued for McVicker Canyon, Rice Canyon, Horsethief Canyon, Glen Eden, El Cariso Village, Sycamore Creek and Rancho Capistrano, along the Ortega (74) Highway corridor from the Lookout restaurant to the Nichols Institute. Those areas had previously been under voluntary evacuation orders.

Voluntary evacuations were also issued in the Shoreline Community, in an area between Grand Avenue and the South Main Divide road, between roughly Ortega Highway and Garner Road.

All schools in the Lake Elsinore Unified, Menifee Unified, Perris Union High School and Perris Elementary School districts in Riverside County will be closed today due to poor air quality caused by the fire.

Caltrans ordered the complete closure of Ortega Highway because of the proximity of the brush fire to the two-lane corridor. California Highway Patrol officers implemented the closure from Grand Avenue in Lake Elsinore to the Nichols Institute entrance in San Juan Capistrano in Orange County, covering about 28 miles.

Trabuco and Holy Jim canyons were also under mandatory evacuation orders, as well as the Blue Jay and El Cariso campgrounds. All campgrounds in the Trabuco Ranger District were closed and forest road closures were in effect for Trabuco Creek, Maple Springs, North Main Divide, Bedford and Indian Truck Trail.

A care and reception center was established at Temescal Canyon High School on El Toro Road in Lake Elsinore. An evacuation center is also open at San Juan Hills High School at 29211 Stallion Ridge in San Juan Capistrano.

Small animals can be taken to Animal Friends of the Valley at 33751 Mission Trail in Wildomar. Information is available by calling (951) 674-0618 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. or (951) 506-5069 between 4 p.m. and 8 a.m. For those under mandatory evacuation, animals large and small can also be taken to Rancho Mission Viejo Riding Park, 30753 La Plata Road in San Juan Capistrano.

Livestock was being accepted at Elsinore High School in the 21800 block of Canyon Drive.

The South Coast Air Quality Management District issued a smoke advisory through Friday in Orange County and portions of Los Angeles, Riverside and San Bernardino counties because of the Holy fire.

Two firefighters were treated for heat-related injuries Monday.

The phone numbers for residents to call for information on the Holy Fire have changed, according to CalFire. The new numbers are (714) 573-6200 and (714) 573-6202.

(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)

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