Southern California's 'Holy Fire' has burned 9,614 acres, suspected arsonist under arrest

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:

Some dramatic images from the OC Register:

Portions of Lake Elsinore are now under a mandatory evacuation:

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:

Airplanes were dropping red fire retardant trying to prevent the 50-foot tall flames from coming over the ridge:

In some cases the houses sit below the burning hills:

Wild animals are being forced into neighborhoods. Note the layer of red fire retardant on the road:

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:

If Clark is convicted he will spend the rest of his life in prison.