Crews make progress battling California wildfire

2018-08-12 10:29

Firefighters made significant progress trying to tamp down a wildfire that threatened homes and has been raging for days south of Los Angeles, officials said on Saturday.

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.

The Holy Fire - named for Holy Jim Canyon, where it began on Monday - grew to nearly 85km2 by Saturday morning. But firefighters also made progress, with containment rising from 10% to 29%.

High temperatures and dry grass and brush have made it difficult for firefighters to get a handle on the blaze.

Some hillsides were being allowed to burn under the watchful eyes of firefighters as a way to reduce fuel and make it harder for flames to jump roadways into communities if winds pick up again.

Evacuation orders

Although the fire burned a dozen forest cabins early on, only one home was lost on Thursday as fire crews managed to fend off flames that stalked downhill and came right up to yards.

On Saturday, officials allowed some residents to return to their homes in Lake Elsinore, but others still remained under evacuation orders.

The man accused of deliberately starting the fire appeared in court on Friday, but his arraignment was postponed.

Forrest Clark, 51, made several outbursts, claiming his life was being threatened and saying the arson charge against him was a lie.

A court commissioner ordered his bail to remain at $1m.

The Holy Fire was one of nearly 20 blazes across California, which is seeing earlier, longer and more destructive wildfire seasons because of drought, warmer weather attributed to climate change and home construction deeper into forests.

A fire that broke out near the communities of Fairfield and Vacaville had destroyed a home and two other structures, according to the Vacaville Fire Department.

A firefighter suffered a minor injury battling the blaze, which grew to about 6.9km2 and was 70% contained by Saturday afternoon, officials said.

The largest fire ever recorded in California - the Mendocino Complex - is burning north of Sacramento and has destroyed 119 homes but none in recent days.

The fire had reached 1 315km2 and was 67% contained by Saturday.

The two-week-old Carr Fire that killed eight people and burned more than 1 000 homes was 55% contained.

KEEP UPDATED on the latest news by subscribing to our FREE newsletter.

- FOLLOW News24 on Twitter

Read more on:    us  |  fires

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.