LAKE ELSINORE, Calif. (KGTV) - The "Lake Effect" is changing the way fire crews fight the Holy Fire, adding more challenges to an already difficult battle.
In the neighborhoods that had a front porch view of the flames as they swept down the mountain, families gathered to watch as if it were a block party.
If you listened closely, the crackling sounded like a river running over everything in its path.
Overhead, planes and helicopters launched their assault from the air, punctuated with cheers from thankful neighbors. Some drops so close, it looked as if the plane was skimming the roofs.
Firefighters working to save #LakeElsinore homes threatened by the #HolyFire . As of Thursday night the fire sits at 10,236 acres with 5% containment. At least 12 structures have been destroyed. #10NewsAt11 https://t.co/M4xw2vjxU9 pic.twitter.com/CgEUosCK9e
— 10News (@10News) August 10, 2018
"Everything is stacked against us except our ability to get our community out," Cal Fire Chief Geoff Pemberton said, noting that this summer has been nonstop for his crews.
"Our breaks are very short, they’re not what they used to be," he said. "The folks are tired, but they’re pulling up their bootstraps and they’re doing everything they can to protect this community."
INTERACTIVE MAP: Where the Holy Fire is burning
Lake Elsinore is a community surrounded with steep terrain and brush as volatile as a tinderbox.
"This fuel is 50 plus-years-old," Pemberton said. "It’s dry, and it’s got a lot of dead component in it."