Sunday, 17 February, 2019

California's Holy Fire prompts state of emergency

Firefighters monitor a backfire as they battle the Medocino Complex fire on Tuesday near Lodoga Calif Firefighters monitor a backfire as they battle the Medocino Complex fire on Tuesday near Lodoga Calif
Melinda Barton | 11 August, 2018, 19:07

Five civilians, including a PG&E worker, have also died in the fire.

If convicted as charged, Clark faces life in prison. He also faces sentencing enhancements for arson of multiple structures.

He was scheduled to appear in court that day, but refused to leave his cell. "This shouldn't be called the Holy Jim fire, it should be called the Holy Hell fire", he said.

Milligan, who has known Clark for two decades, was the one to receive the text from Clark that said "it's all going to burn".

Forrest Gordon Clark, 51, is accused of making the threat, "This place will burn", for over three years.

"I can handle a million right now easily", the arson suspect said. "I reported this over and over again". "The flames were just twirling and twirling", she said.

Forrest Clark, 51, made several outbursts, claiming his life was being threatened.

Fire chiefs were this morning building barriers and constructing containment lines to slow down the approaching wildfire.

More than 21,000 people have been evacuated in and around Lake Elsinore, where furious flames and billowing smoke rose into the sky at the edge of the city of 60,000 as the Holy Fire burned nearby in the Santa Ana Mountains.

Hundreds more firefighters joined the effort, bringing the total to 1,200.

Winds gusting to almost 20 miles per hour are helping drive the flames through tinder-dry brush.

Cal Fire spokesman Scott McLean, however, told The Bee earlier this week that the firefighting agency has "plenty of water".

Some inmates even assisted in the effort.

An estimated 700 firefighters were battling the blaze.

Burning about 100 miles north of San Francisco, the Mendocino Complex wildfire is the largest in California's history.

Onlookers are silhouetted against the reflection of a wildfire burning in the Cleveland National Forest in Lake Elsinore, Calif., Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2018. About 350 residents were under mandatory evacuation orders because of the Hat Fire, which began Thursday near a highway.

Livestock was being accepted at Elsinore High School in the 21800 block of Canyon Drive.

Two firefighters were injured and 119 homes destroyed by that fire, which now ranks as the largest fire on record in the state.

Although the fire - named for the canyon where it started - destroyed a dozen cabins after breaking out Monday, fire crews were able to prevent further losses, but the fire was still virtually uncontrolled as its growth nullified progress in corralling it.

Mike Milligan, the local volunteer fire chief who owns a cabin near Clark's, told The Orange County Register that Clark had long-running feuds with neighbors in the area.

"This shouldn't be called the Holy Jim Fire, it should be called the Holy Hell Fire", says Todd Spitzer, with the Orange County Fire Authority. "Who would go out with low humidity and high wind and the highest heat temperatures this time of the year and intentionally set the forest on fire?" "Weather conditions will continue to challenge firefighters as hot, dry and windy conditions persist", officials said in a statement.

Bommarito noted that the area probably hasn't burned since about 1980.

For now, in Orange and Riverside counties, the focus remains on the Holy Fire.