Holy Fire Burned Area Closure


Holy Fire Closure and BAER Reports

Updated: October 19, 2020  


District Contact

(951) 736-1811 

Additional Information

Holy Fire Closure Order No. 02-20-37 and Map

Road Closures

 North Main Divide, Trabuco Creek Road and Holy Jim Road. For more detailed information on road closures, please see our closure order

Trail Closures

Portions of Coldwater, Holy Jim, East Horsethief, West Horsethief, Los Pinos and Trabuco Trails.

Campground Closures


An extended closure has been implemented for the Holy Fire burned area and will be in effect until October 2021. The time frame for a closure typically covers the first season of precipitation; however, after an assessment of the burned area, it was determined that an extended closure would be required to allow for regeneration and reduce the potential for loss of life, loss of physical resources or loss of habitat. 

The Holy Fire was initially reported in Holy Jim Canyon on the west side of the Santa Ana Mountains in Orange County on August 6, 2018 at 1:21 pm. After initial assessment, it was determined the fire was burning within Trabuco Canyon in an area with minimal fire history. Over 1,500 resources were dispatched to the fire, but due to high temperatures, steep rugged terrain, and very dry fuels aided it ultimately consumed 23,025 acres by the time it reached full containment on September 13, 2018. The Holy fire reached full containment on September 13, 2018 with acreage at 23,025. On October 17, 2018 the Holy Fire was declared 100% controlled. 

The U.S. Forest Service Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) Team completed their assessment of the Holy Fire burned area. The BAER report identifies risks to life, property, and critical natural or cultural resources in and around the fire area on forest service lands.

An increase in flows and erosion rates are predicted to be higher than normal for several years with the greatest increases during the 1st and 2nd year before returning back to normal levels. Given the size and scope of the Holy Fire burned area, the sensitive soils and vegetation may require additional recovery time before recreation can safely resume. 

Assessments of the Holy Fire burned area revealed numerous hazards, including the high potential for debris flow, flooding, mud flows, erosion, and rock fall, all of which could impact roads, trails, recreation areas, and long-term natural recovery. Emergency treatment will include area closures, stabilization of roads and trails, barrier installation, hazardous materials stabilization, and other prescriptions.