So far, some 19,200 acres have been scorched by the Santiago Fire, and at least 10 homes in Modjeska Canyon have been destroyed. However, residents may be allowed to return to Modjeska soon, once the threat is gone. Mandatory evacuations are still in place for the canyon areas off Santiago Canyon Road, between Silverado Canyon Road and Live Oak Canyon Road, including the Santiago Estates neighborhood and Jackson Ranch Road. Neighborhoods along Live Oak Canyon Road through Trabuco Canyon, including O’Neill Regional Park, to Trabuco Creek Road also are included in this mandatory evacuation. Voluntary evacuations are also still in effect for Foothill Ranch and Portola Hills. Evacuation centers are open at El Toro and El Modena high schools. Governor Schwarzenegger is currently touring the shelter at El Toro High, and should give a public statement soon.
Local roads closed today include Santiago Canyon Road south of the 241 toll road to Live Oak Canyon Road, all of Live Oak Canyon Road, all of Trabuco Canyon Road, and the northbound lanes Plano Trabuco road north of Robinson Ranch Road. After closing the 5 Freeway early this morning due to new fires at Camp Pendleton, the CHP has reopened southbound lanes of the 5 in San Clemente… And now, ALL NORTHBOUND LANES OF THE 5 HAVE ALSO REOPENED. Authorities at Camp Pendleton are taking protective measures to ensure the safety of the base and the 5. Amtrak and Metrolink train service between San Juan Capistrano and Oceanside will resume this afternoon.
Stay tuned here at The Liberal OC for updates on the Santiago & Camp Pendleton Fires, and please keep the evacuees and the firefighters in your thoughts and prayers.