Fast-moving Holy Fire burns thousands of acres in Southern California


(KNBC) — A fast-moving brush fire burning in the Cleveland National Forest near the Orange and Riverside counties divide forced the evacuation of the Trabuco and Holy Jim community Monday.

The Holy Fire, which had exploded from 75 to 700 acres within an hour Monday afternoon, was threatening recreation structures in the area of Trabuco Creek and Holy Jim Canyon roads, according to the United State Forest Service.

It had consumed more than 1,200 acres by 5:40 p.m., with zero percent containment. At 8:19 p.m., the Cleveland National Forest’s official Twitter account, said the Holy Fire had grown to 4,000 acres with zero percent containment, meaning the blaze had more than tripled in size in fewer than three hours.

RELATED: Wildfire in Northern California is largest in state’s history

At least two people battling the blaze were treated for heat exhaustion, according to the Orange County Fire Authority.

The Holy Jim Canyon, Trabuco Canyon Recreation Residence Tract, Blue Jay and Falcon Campground areas were added to the list of evacuated areas.

It was located in a remote area of the Santa Ana mountains, quickly burning toward Riverside County and sending thick smoke into the air that could be seen for miles. 

A care and reception center had been established at Twoer Community Center at 22232 El Paseo in Rancho Santa Margarita for evacuees of the Holy Fire.

The Orange County Fire Authority was assisting with the blaze, and two hikers stranded near the fire were evacuated and safe.

NBC4 Meteorologist Anthony Yanez said conditions during the blaze Monday afternoon were warm and dry with light winds.

Anyone in the Holy Jim area affected by the blaze may call the Public Information Hotline at (714) 628-7085. Residents may also receive emergency alerts on their cell phones and e-mail addresses by registering online at

The fire is one of more than a dozen major wildfires burning in California, including the state’s largest fire on record in Mendocino and Lake counties.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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