Several Riverside County school districts have closed schools on Thursday as the Holy fire inches closer toward neighborhoods.
“(O)ut of an abundance of caution, and because of mandatory evacuations in specific neighborhoods affected by the Holy fire, the following Lake Elsinore Unified School District schools will be closed until further notice: Luiseño School, Rice Canyon Elementary, Terra Cotta Middle School, and Withrow Elementary,” the district says on its website.
All of the schools in the Perris Elementary School District, the Perris Union High School District, the Menifee Union School District, and the Romoland School District, as well as Santa Rosa Academy, will be closed Thursday as well.
Thursday was to be Romoland School District students’ first day of school.
The Holy fire has grown to 6,200 acres as of Wednesday night, when the last estimate was made public, prompting authorities to issue mandatory evacuation orders for the Lake Elsinore-area communities of:
- McVickers Canyon
- Rice Canyon
- Horsethief Canyon
- Glen Eden
- El Cariso Village
- Sycamore Creek
- Rancho Capistrano
- The Ortega Highway corridor from the Grand Avenue in Riverside County to Nichols Institute in Orange County
As of Wednesday, the fire was 5 percent contained. Containment is the percentage of the fire’s perimeter that firefighters have determined the blaze will no long spread beyond.
Authorities have also shut down Highway 74, known as Ortega Highway, which will mean increased traffic on the 91 Freeway on Thursday.
Hundreds of firefighters continued to fight the blaze from the ground and the air as it burned in terrain that is steep and difficult to access. The effort included the Global SuperTanker, a Boeing 747 capable of dropping 18,500 gallons of retardant.