Monday, 20 August, 2018

‘It’s a lie,’ Holy Fire arson suspect tells judge

A firefighter lights a backfire while battling the Ranch Fire part of the Mendocino Complex Fire on Tuesday Aug. 7 2018 near Ladoga Calif The Associated Press
Ellis Copeland | 11 August, 2018, 19:08

More than 20,000 people are forced from their homes in Southern California by a unsafe arson wildfire that intensified Thursday night. Officials reported progress in the fight against two major Northern California wildfires - one called the Mendocino Complex Fire that is the largest in state history - burning more than 100 miles (160 kilometers) north of Sacramento.

On Aug. 10, firefighters fought a desperate battle to stop the Holy Fire from reaching homes as the blaze surged through the Cleveland National Forest above the city of Lake Elsinore and its surrounding communities.

"California wildfires are being magnified & made so much worse by the bad environmental laws which aren't allowing massive amount of readily available water to be properly utilized", Trump Tweeted on August 5.

"For those wondering about containment, the hand/containment line grows as the fire grows".

Forrest Gordon Clark, who local authorities have arrested and charged with two counts of felony arson and felony threatening to terrorize, spread a series of alt-right conspiracies on his personal Facebook page.

"I turned to him and said, 'Let's go, '" Pritchett said. Of the 14 cabins in Holy Jim Canyon where Clark lives, his was the only one to remain standing.

The National Weather Service says smoke from the raging fires out West has impacted cities thousands of miles away - and the atmosphere above them.

Clark, who is being held on $1 million bond, is slated to appear in court Thursday (Friday NZT), records show.

The fire has been fueled by dry brush covering steep terrain and stoked by wind gusts during the night, a spokesman for the incident said.

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Holy Jim volunteer Fire Department Chief Mike Milligan, 71, said that Clark "is just a scourge on this canyon", according to NPR.

Mr Milligan said that he reported Mr Clark to the sheriff's office...

"I was asleep. I had two earplugs in", he said. He also claimed he had been threatened by the MS-13 gang.

The fire near Lake Elsinore is devouring brushy foothills, ridgetops and canyons.

The Holy Fire is being fed by thick, tinder-dry brush that hasn't burned in almost four decades.

A fire that broke out off Highway 299 in eastern Shasta County in the Fall River Mills region was spreading at a "critical rate" and forcing road closures in the area Thursday afternoon, according to the California Highway Patrol.

In 2012, the news report said, Mary Masayo Clark was granted a temporary restraining order against her son, a man named Forrest Clark, whose birth date is the same as the man arrested in connection with the fire. "This should be called the Holy Hell Fire".

For two weeks a boring haze and the faint smell of smoke from more than a dozen distant blazes have blanketed many California cities, forcing summer campers to stay inside, obscuring normally bright skylines and leaving cars covered with ash.

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