LAKE ELSINORE (CBSLA) – With another round of rain to hit the Southland Wednesday, residents in the Holy and Cranston fire burn areas could be forced to flee their homes again.

Riverside County Monday night issued a statement asking residents in those burn areas to be prepared for the possibility of evacuating due to flooding and mudslides. No voluntary or mandatory evacuations have yet been issued, however.

“The National Weather Service is predicting this to be the largest storm we have experienced yet,” county officials wrote. “It is critical to understand the seriousness of the situation. If you are receiving this message, you are at risk of debris flows. Intense rain may cause debris flows, which are deadly, fast-moving landslides.”

The Holy Fire burn area has already been evacuated three times going back to mid-January due to heavy rains. It was also evacuated last November.

The Southland is expected to see between 1 and 2 inches of rain for the coasts and the valleys, with 2 to 4 inches for the mountains and foothills, CBS2 Meteorologist Danielle Gersh reports. The rain will begin Wednesday morning and continue into Thursday.

“It will start to taper off late Thursday as that cold front exists the region,” Gersh said. “And then Friday into the weekend, we’ll just have on-and-off light showers continuing.”

Trabuco Creek will also be a trouble spot in nearby Orange County. Recent rains have sent rocks, water and debris came barreling down from the direction of Holy Jim Canyon.

The 23,000-acre Holy Fire broke out in the Holy Jim Canyon area of 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, a resident of Holy Jim Canyon, has been arrested and charged with sparking the blaze.

The arson-sparked Cranston Fire broke out in the San Jacinto Mountains in July. The 13,000-acre blaze destroyed 12 homes and also forced thousands to evacuate. A 32-year-old Temecula man was arrested in connection with that fire.

Riverside County resident should sign up for evacuation alerts here.


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