Holy Fire Containment Update: Containment Grows, Evacuation Orders Lifted for Horsethief, McVicker, Rice Canyons

California Wildfire
Firefighters watch as a fire erupts in a Romero Canyon hillside in Montecito, California, north of Santa Barbara on December 12, 2017. FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images

The California Holy Fire containment is now 29 percent contained as of Saturday, officials said, the result of an aerial assault overnight as planes dropped retardant.

Officials said in the latest Holy Fire update (8/11/2018) that the Holy Fire in Cleveland National Forest had grown by Saturday morning to nearly 33 square miles (85 sq. kilometers), according to The Associated Press.

That's good news since in the overnight hours into Friday the Holy Fire, threatening Orange County, California residential areas, had doubled in size. On Friday, containment of the fire was only 10 percent, so the efforts Friday night into Saturday made significant headway -- getting containment to 29 percent. Gusty winds that made the fire grow had subsided a bit but are forecast to blow Saturday afternoon.

Regardless, the containment improvement meant that early Saturday evacuation orders were lifted for many in the Orange and Riverside County area. Authorities lifted evacuation orders for many living in Horsethief, canyons, according to KTLA 5.

"Earlier this week, the fire had threatened homes in Lake Elsinore and nearby communities," the AP reported today. "Aircraft have been making flight after flight, dumping water and bright pink retardant to protect the foothill communities as the fire sweeps through the dense, bone-dry brush."

One example: The fire raced toward the Robin Oaks subdivision and the scene looked ominous with flames in the background, approaching, but in the dark of night a plane flew in low, dropping water on the flames, the LA Times reported.

Residents are cheering the aerial assault.

"They're just amazing," Tera Swick told the Times. "We're cheering them on every time they're making drops."

Meanwhile, California's Mendocino Complex Fire, the worst in the state's history is now only threatening about 1,500 homes, not the 12,000 like earlier in the week, according to the AP. That fire is now 60 percent contained.

Holy Fire Containment Update: Containment Grows, Evacuation Orders Lifted for Horsethief, McVicker, Rice Canyons | U.S.