California governor declares state of emergency as fires threaten thousands of homes

Marsha Scott
August 12, 2018

Two firefighters were injured Thursday afternoon battling the Holy Fire in the Cleveland National Forest.

In the south, Cleveland National Forest officials tweeted that the flames outside Los Angeles were growing as fast as crews can build lines to contain them.

As of Thursday morning, crews had contained an impressive 51 percent of the fire.

California Governor Jerry Brown has declared a state of emergency for Orange and Riverside counties, where the fire is concentrated. Air quality may reach unhealthy levels or higher in areas directly impacted by smoke.

Current forecasts see temperatures of between 91-97 degrees Fahrenheit (32-36C) and westerly wind gusts of up to 25mph.

According to the National Weather Service, smoke from the fires has actually made it's way across the country - all the way to the East Coast.

A spokeswoman for the Orange County District Attorney's Office said Clark had previously made threats against a neighbour, but declined to elaborate. "Every single person in this canyon is afraid of him". Nonetheless, Clark came to his home two weeks ago to return items he said he had "borrowed" from the fire department, he said. Milligan called back and though the reception was poor in the canyon, he recognized Clark's voice, he said.

Clark is being held on $1 million bond.

Forrest Clark, 51, was arrested and charged with arson in relation to one of the wildfires burning in California.

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Before his arrest, Clark told a freelance cameraman he was asleep when the fire started and had no idea how it began.

Beginning on 27 July, the Mendocino Complex fires are now burning in Mendocino, Lake and Colusa counties and have so far scorched over 300,000 acres of land and destroyed over 100 homes. The 181,000-acre Carr Fire has destroyed almost 1,100 homes. "Then he needs to suffer the fullest punishment of the law".

"This is a monster", Orange County Supervisor Todd Spitzer said on August 8, NPR reported.

As of 7 a.m. Saturday, the Holy Fire had burned 21,473 acres and was 29 percent contained, up from just 10 percent containment the day before.

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.

The Mendocino Complex Fire, now burning in northern California, is the largest in the state's history. Since it started from a burning vehicle near Redding on July 23 it has burned over 186,000 acres in an area about 27 miles long by 19 miles wide.

President Donald Trump approved a major disaster declaration for Shasta County as a result of the blaze, paving the way for federal aid for the fire's victims.

A California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection mechanic who was assigned to the Carr fire died in a vehicle crash in Tehama County early Thursday morning, the eighth death connected to the furious blaze that has scorched roughly 177,000 acres in the Redding area, officials said. The fire more than 100 miles north of Sacramento has destroyed more than 100 homes and blackened an area about the size of Los Angeles. That fire has lasted more than three weeks and killed two people.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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