California's Holy Fire intensifies, forces thousands from their homes


The so-called Holy Fire has burned 10,000 acres in Orange and Riverside counties, and it's only 5 percent contained.

California Governor Jerry Brown has declared a state of emergency for Orange and Riverside counties, where the fire is concentrated.

The so-called Holy Fire in the Cleveland National Forest was threatening thousands of homes in Lake Elsinore and nearby communities after growing by Friday night to almost 30 square miles (77 square kilometers).

By around 4 p.m., Lugton said he could hear fire engines passing by about every two minutes.

The El Portal Road to Yosemite Valley is closed as a wildfire burns in Yosemite National Park in this National Park Service photo released on social media from California, U.S., August 6, 2018.

Crews turned a corner in their battle against a Northern California fire and achieved 51 percent containment of the Mendocino Complex - actually twin fires that are being fought together.

According to a criminal complaint filed Thursday, he is charged with aggravated arson, arson of inhabited property, arson of forest, criminal threats, two counts of resisting and deterring an executive officer and arson burning multiple structures. "The flames were just twirling and twirling", she said.

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Clark spoke to a videographer from OnScene outside his Holy Jim Canyon prior to his arrest, insisting he had nothing to do with the fire.

North of San Francisco, fire crews continued progress in corralling the twin fires known as the Mendocino Complex.

The arraignment for Forrest Clark was supposed to be today, but the judge in the case said the suspect refused to go to court.

The BBC's Peter Bowes in Los Angeles says high temperatures, gusty winds and tinder dry brush have fuelled the disaster in Orange County.

The head of the Orange County team fighting the Holy Fire said the blaze had started near Clark's cabin in Jim Canyon.

Mr Milligan said that he reported Mr Clark to the sheriff's office... Since starting July 27, the fires, which are being fought together as a single incident, have destroyed more than 100 homes near Clear Lake and become the largest fire in recorded state history.

Those lines have kept the southern edge of the fire from spreading into residential areas on the east side of the lake.

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He faces up to life in prison if convicted, according to prosecutors, who said the fire has damaged or destroyed at least 14 homes.

"I was asleep. I had two earplugs in", he said.

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

Authorities have issued mandatory evacuation orders and one person has been arrested in connection with one of the blazes.

"On behalf of all Californians, we honor Andrew and the many other fearless firefighters and emergency responders who have risked their lives to protect others", Gov.

Two firefighters have been treated for heat-related injuries in the Holy Fire.

Eric Lint, a neighbor of Clark whose cabin burned in the blaze, said he was not surprised by Clark's arrest.

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