The so-called Holy Fire has burned nearly 10,000 acres in southern California and is only 5% contained as of this morning. The fire is burning about an hour east of the ocean near the town of Lake Elsinore. Here’s a map showing the area. This is looking east toward the ocean:
#HolyFire burns closer to subdivisions in Riverside, County California. The fire has grown to within two tenths of a mile of homes north of Lake Elsinore. 3-D map by Wildfire Today, looking west. White line on map was the fire 20 hours before.
— Wildfire Today 🔥 (@wildfiretoday) August 9, 2018
Some dramatic images from the OC Register:
– The #wildfire has burned 9,614 acres & is 5% contained
– Mandatory evacuations remain in effect for #LakeElsinore-area communities
– Some Riverside County schools will be closed Thursday as well as #OrtegaHighway
– Further details here: https://t.co/mst2KGszTH pic.twitter.com/aYrBaXRmpv
— O.C. Register (@ocregister) August 9, 2018
Portions of Lake Elsinore are now under a mandatory evacuation:
Mandatory evacuations map pic.twitter.com/S3u1eBboZh
— City Lake Elsinore (@CtyLakeElsinore) August 10, 2018
Here’s an aerial view of the fire from one of several planes dropping fire retardant.
You can see how close the flames are coming to homes in these clips:
#HolyFire blazing up the hill in Lake Elsinore right at the backyard of this home at North Crest & Edgewood. It burned up to the fence and the. moved along in the brush. 3:35 PM Thursday. @CBSLA #KCAL9 pic.twitter.com/ke2yjcxbHZ
— Nicole Comstock (@ComstockNEWS) August 9, 2018
Airplanes were dropping red fire retardant trying to prevent the 50-foot tall flames from coming over the ridge:
— Shannon Handy (@ShannonNews8) August 9, 2018
In some cases the houses sit below the burning hills:
— christina heller (@CHellerTVNews) August 9, 2018
Wild animals are being forced into neighborhoods. Note the layer of red fire retardant on the road:
And then there is the wildlife being affected by the #HolyFire.
Their home burning up around them. 💔
Just spotted this beauty in the hills above Lake Elsinore. Thankfully it didn’t appear to be hurt. @FOXLA pic.twitter.com/9ChUr2llpz
— Gigi Graciette (@GigiGraciette) August 9, 2018
A large column of smoke is now making its way toward the ocean, blocking out the sun and casting everything in a pale yellow light.
Authorities believe that the fire was intentionally set by a 51-year-old man named Forrest Gordon Clark. Clark has been charged with multiple counts of arson and accused of making threats prior to the blaze. From ABC 7:
Shane Sherwood with the Orange County Fire Authority said the evidence gathered led them to believe the fire was an intentional act, but are still working through the evidence to determine how it was started.
Sherwood said no witnesses have come forward saying they saw Clark start the fire, but the area of origin is around his residence.
Clark has reportedly had conflicts with his neighbors for years and sent an email warning, “This place will burn” to a volunteer fire chief last week…
Of the 14 cabins in the area of the fire, Clark’s is apparently the only one still standing.
Eric Lint, a neighbor of Clark whose cabin burned in the blaze, said he was not surprised by Clark’s arrest. “He was a constant problem,” Lint said. “We regarded him and the other gentleman as the Hatfields and McCoys.”
Clark’s arrest was captured on video:
RAW VIDEO: The man suspected of starting the massive #HolyFire stands shirtless in handcuffs as his neighbors' homes burn just feet away. The cabin belonging to Forrest Gordon Clark, 51, was the only one of 14 in his neighborhood that survived the flames. https://t.co/YE0EQBuyYx pic.twitter.com/w4bHrtRA0l
— CBS Los Angeles (@CBSLA) August 8, 2018
If Clark is convicted he will spend the rest of his life in prison.
An arrest has been made in relation to the Holy Fire. Forrest Gordon Clark, 51, was booked into Orange County Jail on August 8, 2018, on suspicion of two counts of felony arson, one count of felony threat to terrorize, and one count of misdemeanor resisting arrest. pic.twitter.com/CMspxOIvSk
— Cleveland NF (@ClevelandNF) August 8, 2018