International

Crews make progress battling Southern California wildfire

A family sits along the shore of Lake Elsinore as they watch the Holy Fire burn in the distance on Thursday night, Aug. 9, 2018 in Lake Elsinore, Calif. More than a thousand firefighters battled to keep a raging Southern California forest fire from reaching foothill neighborhoods on Friday before the expected return of blustery winds that drove the flames to new ferocity a day earlier.

A family sits along the shore of Lake Elsinore as they watch the Holy Fire burn in the distance on Thursday night, Aug. 9, 2018 in Lake Elsinore, Calif. More than a thousand firefighters battled to keep a raging Southern California forest fire from reaching foothill neighborhoods on Friday before the expected return of blustery winds that drove the flames to new ferocity a day earlier.   | Photo Credit: AP

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

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 Monday grew to nearly 85 sqkm by Saturday morning. But firefighters also made progress, with containment rising from 10 to 29 %.

Although the fire burned a dozen forest cabins early on, only one home was lost 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 $1 million.

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 6.9 sqkm 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 1,315 sq. km 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.

A letter from the Editor


Dear reader,

We have been keeping you up-to-date with information on the developments in India and the world that have a bearing on our health and wellbeing, our lives and livelihoods, during these difficult times. To enable wide dissemination of news that is in public interest, we have increased the number of articles that can be read free, and extended free trial periods. However, we have a request for those who can afford to subscribe: please do. As we fight disinformation and misinformation, and keep apace with the happenings, we need to commit greater resources to news gathering operations. We promise to deliver quality journalism that stays away from vested interest and political propaganda.

Support Quality Journalism
Recommended for you
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Jun 4, 2020 8:37:21 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/crews-make-progress-battling-southern-california-wildfire/article24669414.ece

Next Story