Sunday, 19 August, 2018

Firefighters Injured Battling Blaze in Cleveland National Forest

They are fighting California's biggest fire — in steep forest terrain with rattlesnakes scorpions and poisonous plants Firefighters monitor a burn operation on top of a ridge near the town of Ladoga Calif. on Aug. 7
Ebony Burgess | 11 August, 2018, 21:27

The fire is burning about an hour east of the ocean near the town of Lake Elsinore. "I thought, 'There's no way they're saving my house.' But somehow they did". Fire crews from Australia and New Zealand are helping in the operation to bring the blaze under control over an area of more than 1,200 square kilometres.

About 100 miles (160 km) southwest of the Carr Fire, almost 4,000 firefighters are battling the Mendocino Complex Fire, which has burned 307,000 acres (124,240 hectares) to become the largest fire on record in California.

Meanwhile north of San Francisco, the Mendocino Complex - the largest recorded fire in California history - is 60 percent contained.

He added: "I woke up and my stuff was all on fire", he said.

Air quality has been another casualty of the fires.

Smoke from the western wildfires has reached the East Coast and beyond, the National Weather Service has said.

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.

A man arrested on Tuesday in connection with a devastating wildfire in Southern California is a conspiracy theorist who posted videos about satanic rituals and QAnon.

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

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Clark's arrest marks the second such detention in two weeks. Milligan called back and though the reception was poor in the canyon, he recognized Clark's voice, he said.

Before it began, Clark reportedly sent an email to a neighbor that said, "This place will burn".

The man suspected of setting the blaze, 51-year-old Forrest Clark, appeared in court Friday, but his arraignment was postponed.

He faces up to life in prison if convicted, according to prosecutors, who said the fire has damaged or destroyed at least 14 homes.

Forrest Clark made several outbursts during the hearing in Orange County, at times refusing to show his face, local media reported.

Sherwood said no witnesses have come forward saying they saw Clark start the fire, but the area of origin is around his residence. It was determined to be residual smoke from the Holy Fire.

Fire officials warned residents to heed evacuation orders. Governor Jerry Brown has declared a state of emergency for the area. It has burned 305,152 acres and injured two firefighters, and was 52% contained by Thursday night.

California is seeing earlier, longer and more destructive wildfire seasons because of drought, warmer weather attributed to climate change and home construction deeper into the forests.

Caltrans ordered the complete closure of Ortega Highway because of the proximity of the brush fire to the two-lane corridor. The jumbo jets have seen increased usage in recent years as fires become larger and more common across significant swaths of the country. It has lasted more than three weeks and killed two people.

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