Death toll from California fires rises to 10

Frederick Owens
August 11, 2018

Forrest Clark, 51, was arrested and charged with arson in relation to one of the wildfires burning in California. 299 east and Fish Hatchery Road has increased to 2,500 acres and is now 15 percent contained.

According to Orange County officials, Mr Clark had emailed the local volunteer fire chief to threaten "this place will burn". "Every single person in this canyon is afraid of him".

They are undergoing four days of training to fight wildfires and are expected to be deployed to California next week, U.S. Army Col. Rob Manning said in a statement. "He was being gentlemanly in the beginning and turned and then swore at me and turned and left and was quoting the Bible".

"We have a responsibility to ensure that any large gathering is safe and being conducted legally", Chicago police Superintendent Eddie Johnson told reporters.

A resident of the small community of Holy Jim Canyon in the forest was scheduled for a court hearing Friday on charges that he deliberately set the fire.

Orange County sheriff's deputies received a call reporting "erratic behavior" by Clark on July 23 and placed him on a psychiatric hold, the Associated Press reported, citing Carrie Braun, a department spokeswoman. "If you don't do something he's going to kill somebody or burn something down", he wrote in an email about Clark.

Milligan said he did not know what he meant, adding that Clark sent emails to other people in which he talked about burning something.

A spokeswoman for the Orange County District Attorney's Office said Clark had previously made threats against a neighbour, but declined to elaborate.

A man charged with intentionally setting the fire is scheduled for arraignment on Friday.

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"I'm pissed, I'm outraged, I'm disgusted", Lake Elsinore Mayor Natasha Johnson told CBS News.

The devastation caused by the fires is even more apparent in infrafred.

On Monday, a freelance photojournalist recorded a brief interview with Clark. "I can handle a million right now, easily". "The flames were just twirling and twirling", she said. "I got burned. I woke up and my stuff was all on fire".

Crews, including inmates and firefighters from overseas, have managed to cut lines around half the fire to contain the flames, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said.

More than 1,000 firefighters battled Friday to keep a growing Southern California forest fire feeding on dry brush and trees from reaching foothill neighborhoods a day after flames roared to new ferocity and came within yards of homes.

The Holy Fire was one of several blazes burning across California that have displaced tens of thousands.

The Holy Fire - named for Holy Jim Canyon where it began Monday - grew to almost 30 square miles (77 square kilometres) after almost doubling in size overnight.

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

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