The Holy fire in the Cleveland National Forest marched toward Lake Elsinore on Thursday afternoon, forcing a new round of evacuations.
Residents living in homes on the mountainside of Lake Street and in the southeast region from Grand Avenue to Ortega Highway were told by the U.S. Forest Service to leave their homes immediately as the 9,600-acre fire moved their way.
To the south, the Rangeland fire broke out west of Ramona and quickly charred between 100 and 150 acres while threatening structures along a rural road.
A Cal Fire mechanic assigned to the Carr fire died in a vehicle crash in Tehama County early Thursday morning, the eighth death connected to the furious blaze that has scorched roughly 177,000 acres in Northern California, officials said.
The victim, described as a heavy equipment mechanic, died in a crash on Highway 99, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said in a statement.
The crash happened at 12:17 a.m. after a Dodge Ram 5500 veered off the highway’s right shoulder, slammed into a tree and caught fire, according to Officer Ken Reineman of the California Highway Patrol’s Red Bluff station. The victim’s identity has not been released.