Smoke from Holy Fire fills Big Bear skies

Arturo Kim
August 11, 2018

More than 1,200 firefighters were battling the blaze as of Friday, which sparked in Orange County's Holy Jim Canyon and had spread to the east into Riverside County and towards Lake Elsinore and north into Cold Water Canyon and Santiago Peak, prompting the evacuation of more than 7,400 homes and structures and 21,484 people, according to the U.S. Forest Service.

Wildfires dubbed the Holy Fire have decimated over 10,000 acres, and a state of emergency has been declared for the Riverside and Orange counties.

A plume of smoke from a wildfire burning near the Holy Jim area looms, August 6, 2018, in Lake Forest, Calif. Authorities have evacuated cabins in two communities in the Santa Ana Mountains in Orange County because of a fast-moving wildfire.

Cal Fire crews are helping federal firefighters put out flames in national forests and one that has reached Yosemite National Park, prompting its closure at the height of tourist season.

He said they were still working through the evidence to determine how it was started.

He had been scheduled to appear before the court on Thursday but refused to leave his jail cell.

A California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection mechanic who was assigned to the Carr fire died in a vehicle crash in Tehama County early Thursday morning, the eighth death connected to the furious blaze that has scorched roughly 177,000 acres in the Redding area, officials said.

Teresita Reyes was among some 20,000 people under evacuation orders, saying she was attending a wedding Wednesday when she received the order to evacuate.

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. "I got burned. I woke up and my stuff was all on fire".

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He claimed during the interview that he was the target of threats from the MS-13 gang.

Furious flames and smoke can be seen billowing across the area in and around Lake Elsinore.

Hundreds of firefighters are desperately fighting to stop the Holy Fire engulfing a lakeside community near Los Angeles and the situation has been described as 'like a warzone'.

And the Mendocino Complex fire has become the largest fire on record in California, burning 307,000 acres.

Although it's not the largest burning in the state, the Holy Fire has raised concerns about its effect on residential communities, including Lake Elsinore.

Mike Milligan, the local volunteer fire chief who owns a cabin near Clark's, told The Orange County Register that Clark had long-running feuds with neighbors in the area. If found guilty, he faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.

The fire more than 100 miles (160 kilometers) north of Sacramento has destroyed more than 100 homes and blackened an area about the size of Los Angeles. The Carr Fire has burned more than 1,000 homes.

Now a smoky haze hovers over much of the state, creating unsafe breathing conditions.

The sheer size of the fires is numbing in a state that is still reeling from enormous blazes previous year and has yet to hit its historically most unsafe months.

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