Man Accused Of Setting Holy Fire In California Makes Bizarre Court Appearance

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Aircraft have been making flight after flight, dumping water and bright pink retardant to protect Lake Elsinore and other foothill communities as the fire sweeps through the dense, bone-dry brush of the Cleveland National Forest.

A spokesperson for the incident management team said the fire grew close to El Cariso Village up on the hill above Lake Elsinore but it had not crossed the Ortega Highway, SR 74.

Speaking at a dinner with business leaders on Wednesday, the president expressed his support for the families that have lost loved ones in the California fires, and said his administration was working closely with state and local authorities.

The man charged with deliberately starting the fire appeared in court Friday but his arraignment was postponed. It wasn't immediately known if he had a lawyer.

Mr Clark is alleged to have sent text messages stating that he planned to commit arson in Holy Jim Canyon, where the fire broke out on Monday. Ironically, his cabin was the only one in the canyon to survive the flames, the newspaper reported. "I reported this over and over again".

In Northern California, a mechanic helping to fight the Carr Fire, burning around Redding, was killed in a vehicle crash on Thursday, the eighth person to die in that conflagration.

The Holy Fire is one of about three dozen significant fires burning across the West Coast, with a majority in California.

Late Thursday night, he described seeing 21-metre flames creeping within 140 metres of his large yard.

"When you have that many fires, it's not uncommon for that smoke to go fairly long ways downstream", Edman says. It truly does roar.

For the tens of thousands of Californians who have been driven from their homes, the wait to learn what's happened is torture. "I just woke up, dude".

So far, five firefighters have sustained injuries battling the blaze.

Governor Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency for the area on Thursday, freeing up additional resources to battle the blaze. It's blackened 16 square miles and is only 5 per cent contained. The fire had consumed more than 305,000 acres in Northern California, or 476 square miles - an expanse almost as large as the city of Los Angeles. Two weeks ago, he came to Milligan's home to return items he "borrowed" from the fire department, the volunteer fire chief said.

The blaze north of San Francisco has grown to the size of Los Angeles since it started two weeks ago, fueled by dry vegetation, high winds and rugged terrain that made it too risky for firefighters to directly attack the flames now spanning 470 square miles.

Air quality has been another casualty of the fires. A smoky haze stretches from the foothills of the Sierra Nevada range to Sacramento and hovers over the San Francisco Bay Area, with most major population centers in between enduring air quality that's considered unsafe for many residents.

Riverside County: Areas 22 (Corona/Norco), 23 (Metropolitan Riverside), 24 (Perris Valley), 25 (Lake Elsinore), 26 (Temecula Valley), 28 (Hemet/San Jacinto Valley), and 29 (Banning Pass). The size of the fires brings new horror as the state still reels from enormous blazes previous year and has yet to hit its most unsafe months historically. It threatens a much larger urban area, so Cal Fire has devoted more resources to it.