Holy Fire: Some Evacuation Orders Lifted as Crews Make Progress Containing 22,000-Acre Blaze

Some evacuation orders were lifted Saturday as the estimated containment jumped overnight for a massive blaze burning in the Cleveland National Forest.

A helicopter drops water to protect a home from the Holy Fire in Lake Elsinore, California on Aug. 10, 2018.(Credit: ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)

A helicopter drops water to protect a home from the Holy Fire in Lake Elsinore, California on Aug. 10, 2018.(Credit: ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)

By Saturday evening, forest officials said the 22,158-acre Holy Fire was 36 percent contained. Much progress has been made by fire crews battling the blaze over the last few days.

Earlier on Saturday morning, the fire was 29 percent contained —triple the estimate they provided the night before.

The fire has been burning in the Holy Jim and Trabuco canyons near the border of Orange and Riverside counties since Monday afternoon. A man suspected of igniting the blaze faced multiple felony charges and appeared in court on Friday. His arraignment was continued to Aug. 17.

On Saturday, authorities lifted evacuation orders for Horsethief, McVicker and Rice canyons. Later in the day, mandatory orders for the Machado community were also lifted.

More than 21,000 people were under evacuation orders just the night before. (Residents can enter their address on the Riverside County website to see whether their homes are under an evacuation order or warning.)

Some homeowners, however, stayed behind to keep watch of their neighborhood.

The fire has bonded the community together, a resident in Sycamore Creek told KTLA.

“We know that the firefighters are doing a great job," he said.

Crews braced for "extreme fire behavior" over the weekend, according to the federal fire information website InciWeb.

Scattered thunderstorms could hit the area as temperatures hover around 91 to 97 degrees, the website said. Forecasters expected a relative humidity of 30 to 40 percent and gusty, 25 mph winds from the west.

Air quality officials issued a smoke advisory effective through Sunday morning for areas in Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties.