Governor declares new state of emergency near Los Angeles as aggressive wildfire threatens thousands of homes in southern California

Friday, August 10, 2018
By Paul Martin

Holy Fire has raced across 15 square miles in Orange and Riverside counties since blaze started on Monday
Thousands of homes are threatened by the flames and 21,000 people have been evacuated from the area
Governor Jerry Brown declared a new state of emergency for the affected counties on Thursday

10 August 2018

California Governor Jerry Brown has declared a state of emergency as a wildfire that forced 21,000 people from their homes continues to rage south of Los Angeles.

Brown issued the declaration on Thursday for Orange and Riverside counties because of the Holy Fire in the Cleveland National Forest, which is threatening thousands of homes.

The fire near Lake Elsinore is devouring brushy foothills, ridgetops and canyons. It’s blackened 16 square miles and is only 5 per cent contained.

On Thursday, flames came within yards of some homes. Twelve structures have been confirmed destroyed in the fire so far – and elsewhere the Carr Fire has destroyed nearly 1,100 homes.

Early on Friday, more than 1,200 firefighters were fighting the blaze, building barriers and constructing containment lines to slow the approaching wildfire.

More than 21,000 people have been evacuated in and around Lake Elsinore, where furious flames and billowing smoke rose into the sky at the edge of the city of 60,000 as the Holy Fire burned nearby in the Santa Ana Mountains.

‘It feels like a war zone,’ Ana Tran told the Los Angeles Times as ash and flame retardant fell on her neighborhood.

The fire was being fueled by dry brush covering steep terrain and stoked by erratic wind gusts during the night, said Thanh Nguyen, a spokesman for the incident said.

‘Strong down drafts is making the fire move aggressively downhill,’ said Nguyen, noting that firefighters were working to build barriers and containment lines to protect more than 2,000 homes at risk from the fire.

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