Published: Sat, August 11, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

Man Accused Of Setting Holy Fire In California Makes Bizarre Court Appearance

Man Accused Of Setting Holy Fire In California Makes Bizarre Court Appearance

Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency for the two counties.

So far, eight people have been killed and almost 1,100 homes destroyed.

An intentionally lit wildfire is growing perilously close to homes in California as 21,000 residents have now been told to leave. It has chewed through 28 square miles (72 square kilometers) of dense chaparral and was only 5 percent contained.

Orange County Supervisor Todd Spitzer said, "This shouldn't be called the Holy Jim Fire, this should be called the Holy Hell Fire".

Forrest Gordon Clark was arrested on Wednesday on suspicion of two counts of felony arson, and one count each of felony threat to terrorize and misdemeanour resisting arrest.

CBSLA noted that Clark - who has been linked to the QAnon conspiracy theory as well as other alt-right claims - called the arson charges against him "lies" before claiming that he could "easily" pay his $1 million bond.

The blaze north of San Francisco has grown to the size of Los Angeles since it started two weeks ago, fueled by dry vegetation, high winds and rugged terrain that made it too unsafe for firefighters to directly attack the flames now spanning 470 square miles. "Weather conditions will continue to challenge firefighters as hot, dry and windy conditions persist", officials said in a statement.

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

For the past three years, Milligan says, he has been warning the local sheriff's office and U.S. Forest Service about Clark, repeatedly telling them, "You have to do something or he's going to kill someone or burn this place down".

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He added that: "If nothing else, I hope this film exposes that grave danger and shows people the way out". I have a feeling it's just going to come off as more noise, even if it ends up being good.

Incredible photos show apocalyptic scenes as firefighters try to battle the blaze. "I was asleep. I had two earplugs in".

Residents flee a neighborhood with their belongings after a spot fire broke out at the Holy Fire in Lake Elsinore, California, southeast of Los Angeles, on August 10, 2018.

The fires all grew explosively in the past two weeks as winds whipped the flames through forest and rural areas full of timber and brush that is bone-dry from years of drought and a summer of record-breaking heat.

Institute. Those areas had previously been under voluntary evacuation orders.

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.

All schools in the Menifee Unified School District in Riverside County were closed Thursday due to poor air quality caused by the fire, and the campuses will remain shuttered Friday.

The third largest is the Ferguson Fire, near Yosemite National Park, incinerating more than 95,000 acres.

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

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