‘Must go now’: Evacuations ordered in some Holy Fire burn areas

The charred remains of burned-out cars are seen at the Holy Fire in Lake Elsinore, California, southeast of Los Angeles, on August 11, 2018. (Photo: RINGO CHIU/AFP/Getty Images)

RIVERSIDE, Calif. — Riverside County has ordered mandatory evacuations for some Holy Fire burn areas as a rainstorm bears down on Southern California.

“People in these zones MUST GO NOW,” the urgent warning from the county’s Emergency Management Department read. “With thunderstorms predicted for the Holy Fire burn area Thursday morning, mandatory evacuations have been ordered as of 3 p.m. today.”

The affected areas included: Amorose, Alberhill, Glen Ivy A, Glen Eden, Grace, Horsethief A, Laguna A, Matri, McVicker A, Rice, Withrow A. A hotline for evacuees has been set up at 951-940-6985.

Read the full alert here.

The Holy Fire burned more than 23,000 acres in Orange and Riverside counties last August. Forest Clark, a 51-year-old from the Holy Jim area where the blaze started, is suspected of sparking the blaze.

“Post wildfire areas are at risk of debris flows, which are deadly, fast-moving landslides. There is also a risk of flooding, mudflow, rockfalls and other landslides during and immediately after rain,” the county’s website explained.

“Debris flows can happen with little to no warning. As always, residents are urged to remain vigilant and take personal responsibility for their safety. Officials might only be able to provide a few minutes’ notice, or none at all.”

Riverside and San Bernardino counties are forecast to receive around half an inch to an inch-and-a-half of rain Wednesday night through Friday morning, according to the National Weather Service. Some areas in the mountains could see more than four inches of precipitation.

San Diego is expected to receive similar levels of rain by the end of the week, and high surf was already battering the coast Wednesday.

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