California Dolphin: statewide California news

Burn Areas On Alert As Pacific Storm System Bears Down On Southland

MALIBU (CBSLA) – It’s a scenario that residents in wildfire burn areas have become all too familiar with in recent months.
Yet another storm front moving into Southern California will bring several inches of rain Wednesday and Thursday, again putting wildfire burn areas in Malibu and Lake Elsinore at risk of flooding and debris flows and potentially forcing people to flee their homes.
A flooded roadway in the Woolsey Fire burn area in Malibu, Calif., during a storm. Feb. 4, 2019. (CBS2)
A flash flood watch is in effect Wednesday night through Thursday evening for parts of Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties.
Riverside County has already issued voluntary evacuation warnings for the following neighborhoods in the Holy Fire burn area in and around Lake Elsinore: Amarose, Alberhill, Alvarado- A, Glen Eden, Glen Ivy-A, Glen Ivy–B, Grace, Horse thief–A, Laguna-A, Lakeside-A, Maitri, McVicker-A, Rice and Withrow-A.
The Holy Fire burn area has already been evacuated three times going back to mid-January due to heavy rains. It was also evacuated last November . One Lake Elsinore resident told CBS2 Tuesday that this is the fifth time he’s been placed on notice.
“When they wanted us to leave, I left one time out of five,” Lake Elsinore resident Harry Lee said.
An evacuation center has been set up at Temescal Canyon High School in Lake Elsinore.
Trabuco Creek will also be a trouble spot in nearby Orange County . Recent rains have sent rocks, water and debris came barreling down from the direction of Holy Jim Canyon.
The coasts and valleys will see 1 to 2 inches of rain, while the foothills and mountains will see anywhere from 2 to 4 inches, according to the National Weather Service.
“Rain, strong winds, and mountain snow will be moving into the region overnight and continuing through at least Thursday,” the NWS said in a statement. “The precipitation will be heavy at times, especially on Thursday. There is a chance of showers lingering into the weekend.”
Meanwhile, the Woolsey Fire burn area in Malibu and Ventura County could also see mudslides and flooding on canyon roads and steep terrain.
The most recent storm just last week caused creeks to overflow and closed portions of the Pacific Coast Highway as rocks and mud slid down scorched and eroded hillsides.
Extra staff from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, Fire Department and Public Works will be patrolling the Woolsey burn area Wednesday and Thursday. Residents can grab free sandbags at fire stations in Malibu.
The 97,000-acre Woolsey Fire  broke out south of Simi Valley on Nov. 8 . It then jumped the south side of the 101 Freeway near Calabasas and spread into Malibu. The fire destroyed more than 1,500 structures and was responsible for three deaths. It was not fully contained until Nov. 21.
The 23,000-acre Holy Fire broke out in the Holy Jim Canyon area of Orange County on Aug. 6 and then marched east into Riverside County towards Lake Elsinore. It destroyed 18 homes in Orange and Riverside counties and forced thousands of people to flee. Forrest Gordon Clark, 51, a resident of Holy Jim Canyon, has been arrested and charged with sparking the blaze.
The  arson-sparked Cranston Fire  broke out in the San Jacinto Mountains in July. The 13,000-acre blaze destroyed 12 homes and also forced thousands to evacuate. A 32-year-old Temecula man was arrested in connection with that fire.

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