More rainfall in the forecast prompted Riverside County to upgrade its voluntary evacuation orders for Holy Fire burn areas to mandatory on Wednesday.
The Riverside County Emergency Management Department at 3 p.m. issued mandatory evacuation orders for the following communities: Amorose, Alberhill, Glen Ivy A, Glen Eden, Grace, Horsethief A, Laguna A, Matri, McVicker A, Rice, Withrow A. (Check www.RivCoReady.org/StormReady for details.)
"People in these zones MUST GO NOW," county officials said.
Authorities issued a warning the day before, but the Emergency Management Department said the projected amount of precipitation has increased, thereby raising the possibility of deadly landslides.
According to the National Weather Service, communities in Riverside and Orange counties could expect around half an inch to 1.5 inch of rain Wednesday night to Friday morning. Some areas in the mountains could see more than 4 inches of precipitation, the agency said.
An evacuation center has been set up at Temescal Canyon High School at 28755 El Toro Road in Lake Elsinore. The San Jacinto Animal Campus at 581 S. Grand Ave. in San Jacinto is accepting small and large animals. Owners can call the facility at 951-358-7387.
A hotline for evacuees has been set up at 951-940-6985.
Regions affected by the Holy Fire in Orange County remained under an evacuation warning that was issued Tuesday evening. The warning applies to homes within Trabuco Creek, Rose Canyon and the Mystic Oaks and El Cariso areas. A map is available on the Orange County Sheriff's website.
Manuel Perez, a resident of Horse Thief Canyon, said a deputy knocked on his door and strongly urged him to leave his home by 8 p.m. Wednesday.
"It's pretty drastic, though," Perez said. "I've got no other place to stay, but I don't want to get buried in mud."
The Holy Fire erupted in the Trabuco Canyon area in August and burned nearly 23,000 acres along the Riverside and Orange County line. The 51-year-old man accused of starting the blaze has been ordered to undergo multiple psychiatric evaluations as he faced multiple counts of arson.