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More Holy Fire Evacuations Lifted, Mop Up Underway As Firefighters Clear Brush

Posted: Monday, August 13, 2018 – 11:00 AM

New evacuations were in force Monday as an army of firefighters continues efforts to tame the Holy Fire that started one week ago.

Firefighters took advantage of lower temperatures and higher humidity Sunday to extend lines of cleared vegetation to 52 percent of area around the 22,714-acre fire zone, while flames still edged towards a retirement community wedged between the Santa Ana Mountains and Interstate 15 north of Lake Elsinore, prompting voluntary evacuation orders for 1,317 residential units in a retirement community.

People living in the Trilogy Glen Ivy community were put on notice to leave, according to Cleveland National Forest fire commanders in a warning issued at noon. Residents of the development’s single-family homes and condos who have trouble driving in the dark were advised to leave now in a message posted on the Trilogy Glen Ivy website.

Meanwhile, mandatory evacuations were lifted for the Lake Elsinore community in Riverside, officials said. Mandatory evacuations remained for Glen Eden, El Cariso, Blue Jay and Rancho Capistrano areas.

In Orange County, Trabuco and Holy Jim canyons remained under mandatory evacuation orders, and all campgrounds in the Trabuco Ranger District were closed. Back country fire roads were closed to hiking and bicycling, including Trabuco Creek, Maple Springs, North Main Divide, Bedford and Indian Truck Trail.

Two real estate developments in Orange County, on the western flank of the fire, are also named Trilogy, and their evacuation status was not changed.

More than 1,300 firefighters continued to battle the fire, which spread from Orange County’s eastern mountains towards Santiago Peak, and over the mountains to the hills above Lake Elsinore.

Structure defense was expected to continue in areas still threatened by flames while mop up will be ongoing as crews bring the fire under control, officials said.

Ortega (74) Highway remained closed due to firefighting efforts.

Fourteen structures were confirmed lost, primarily in Big Jim Canyon, a cluster of homes and cabins above Rancho Santa Margarita. Damages assessment continued.

The fire was initially reported at 1:15 p.m. August 6 near Holy Jim Canyon and Trabuco Creek roads, Orange County Fire Authority Capt. Tony Bommarito said. The fire dramatically increased in size near the Horsethief Canyon area on Wednesday, then jumped the North Main Divide dirt road, burning into the Lake Elsinore area of Riverside County, Bommarito said.

Bommarito noted that the area probably hasn’t burned since the early 1980s.

Forrest Gordon Clark, 51, remained jailed in Santa Ana in lieu of $1 million bail, an amount he scoffed at during an animated appearance in a Santa Ana courtroom Friday. He labeled the arson charges against him a “lie” and insisted he was being threatened.

When a court commissioner ordered his bail to remain at $1 million, Clark said he could easily afford it and asked whether he could pay it right away.

Clark was charged with aggravated arson damaging at least five inhabited structures, arson of inhabited property, arson of forest and criminal threats, all felonies, as well as two misdemeanor counts of resisting arrest.

His arraignment was delayed until Aug. 17, and Clark could face 10 years to life in prison.

Residents seeking information on the Holy Fire may call (714) 573- 6200, or register at for text updates.

CNS-08-13-2018 00:09

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