LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – Rain moved into the Southland Wednesday, bringing along a cold front, as well as concerns of flooding and mudslides.
Showers and thunderstorms are expected in areas of Los Angeles and Orange counties through Wednesday evening.
“Very scattered in nature and we are looking at brief downpours, so nothing too widespread and were not looking at steady downpours,” KCAL9 Meteorologist Evelyn Taft said.
Light showers could linger into Thursday afternoons. Rain totals could be anywhere from a quarter-inch to an inch.
On Tuesday, Riverside County issued a voluntary evacuation warning for homes in the Holy Fire burn area due to possible landslides and debris flows on scorched hillsides which cannot hold water. That warning applies to residents in certain areas of Temescal Valley and Lake Elsinore, including the Laguna, El Cariso, Amorose, Withrow-A, Rice, AlberHill, Horsethief B, Glen Eden, Grace, Maitri and Glen Ivy zones.
Emergency centers were opened at Elsinore High School, 21800 Canyon Dr. in Wildomar; and Santiago High School, 1395 E. Foothill Parkway in Corona.
Voluntary evacuations for the Cranston Fire burn area issued Monday were later lifted, although neighborhoods like Lake Hemet, Apple Canyon, Hurkey Creek and parts of Mountain Center are still at risk and may be asked to evacuate.
Riverside County Emergency Management crews have been setting up K-Rails and sandbags near the base of several hillsides in the event of such a mudslide. They also went door-to-door Tuesday warning residents.
“We’d rather err on the side of caution,” CAL Fire Capt. Fernando Herrera told CBS2 Wednesday. “So we are planning for the worst case scenario.”
“If the rain holds up just to being scattered showers we’re probably looking at just a quarter-inch,” said Jason Uhley, general manager and chief engineer for the Riverside County Flood Control and Water Conservation District. “The concern is there may be thunderstorms over the mountain range.”
The arson-sparked Cranston Fire broke out in the San Jacinto Mountains in July. The 13,000-acre blaze destroyed 12 homes and forced thousands of people to evacuate.
The 23,986-acre Holy Fire broke out in the Holy Jim Canyon area in 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, was arrested on multiple arson charges in connection with the fire.
In L.A. County, there is also a slight risk of mudslides in the La Tuna Fire burn area near Burbank and the Creek Fire burn area north of Sylmar. The risk of slides will increase considerably if thunderstorms appear since they can generate heavy downpours.
The remnants of Hurricane Rosa — now a tropical depression — will not be much of a factor in the Wednesday’s rain episode, having largely migrated to Arizona and New Mexico, NWS forecasters said.
Instead, the rain will be largely a product of an upper-level low-pressure system that originated in the central Pacific.
Although not a monster, Wednesday’s weather system will be unusually strong for this time of the year, said NWS meteorologist Dave Bruno, adding that the lion’s share of the precipitation will appear between noon and midnight.
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)