Aggressive wildfire menaces thousands in southern California city

11 August, 2018, 21:32 | Author: Clarence Schmidt
  • Evacuees from Lucerne from left Ken Bennett with Ember Reynolds 8 and Lisa Reynolds watch the sunset as smoke from the Ranch Fire rises into the sky at Austin Park Beach in California's Clearlake with Mount Konocti in the background. (Kent Porter

Although it's not the largest fire burning in the state, there are growing concerns about how it could affect residential communities - including Lake Elsinore. "I thought, 'There's no way they're saving my house.' But somehow they did".

Two Trump cabinet officials are heading to Northern California next week to meet with officials working to contain the deadly Carr Fire, as the administration seeks to show its helping to fight this and other blazes ravaging the state.

The Holy Fire has scorched 18,137 acres and was 5% contained, the forest said on its Twitter page on Friday morning. In the Golden State alone, active fires have burned roughly half a million acres in recent weeks.

Cal Fire Battalion Chief Jonathan Cox said the area has few natural barriers to slow flames and terrain that firefighters can't get to.

California Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency for Orange and Riverside counties, where more than 21,000 people are under mandatory evacuation orders. Forecasters expected a relative humidity of 30 to 40 percent and gusty, 25 miles per hour winds from the west.

Gusty, erratic winds and high temperatures over the weekend threaten to "increase the likelihood of extreme fire behavior".

Forrest Gordon Clark, 51, was being held at the Orange County Jail on Wednesday on suspicion of two counts of felony arson, a count of felony threat to terrorize and misdemeanor resisting arrest, the national forest said via Twitter.

The 51-year-old is reported to have previously rowed with other cabin owners and last week he allegedly sent an email to volunteer fire chief Mike Milligan warning "this place will burn". "Everything else is replaceable but your life is not", Johnson said.

Clark's arrest marks the second such detention in two weeks.

Crystal Easter uses a pot of water to put out spot fires around her home as her neighbor's home burns to the ground in the background Monday Aug. 6 2018 in Spring Valley Calif. The Ranch Fire spotted 200 yards across the valley burning two hom

"The place is going to burn just like you planned", Clark later texted, according to Milligan.

A U.S. Forest Service spokesman said more than a dozen cabins in Clark's neighborhood had burned.

Clark refused to go to court on Thursday, so his arraignment was rescheduled for today, according to the Associated Press.

The charges being leveled could carry a life sentence, said Susan Schroeder of the Orange County District Attorney's Office.

"They took me away last time for no [expletive] reason, I told them that I'd been vandalized", Clark said as the fire burned around him. This scene, captured by a webcam overlooking California's Holy Fire, offers a sober glance of the state's horrific wildfire season, which is far from over. At least 12 structures have been destroyed.

People watch flames from the Holy Fire outside Glen Ivy Hot Springs in Corona, California, southeast of Los Angeles, on August 10, 2018.

Although the neighborhood is under an evacuation order, the 38-year-old Rodriguez told the San Bernardino Sun that he chose to stay to help save his home.

"I said 'I want nothing to do with you, Forrest".


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