California wildfire said set by arsonist threatens community

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.

Joe Rodriguez was using a power washer to wet down his patio in the McVicker Canyon Park neighborhood Thursday morning.

All schools in the Menifee Unified School District in Riverside County were closed Thursday due to poor air quality caused by the fire, and the campuses will remain shuttered Friday.

The 51-year-old Clark could face 10 years to life in prison.

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

As the Carr fire has moved deeper into the forest and away from structures in Redding, firefighter commanders have routinely warned of the dangers of driving on roadways clogged by a growing number of emergency personnel in the area.

Clark is being held pending bail of $1million.

The fast-moving fire has blackened 10,236 acres of the Cleveland National Forest and was only 5% contained Thursday evening.

North of Sacramento, crews were gaining the upper hand on massively destructive fires even as new ones forced more evacuations and the weather forecast called for hot, dry, gusty weather.

Those lines have kept the southern edge of the fire from spreading into residential areas on the east side of the lake.

"I've been trying for years to get someone to pay attention and nobody has really had the opportunity to do that until now", he said.

The Holy Fire was one of several fires burning in California that have displaced tens of thousands of people. He faces charges for arson, felony threat to terrorize, and resisting arrest.

Crews braced for "extreme fire behavior" over the weekend, according to the federal fire information website InciWeb.

Milligan said he did not know what he meant, adding that Clark sent emails to other people in which he talked about burning something.

Holy Jim volunteer Fire Department Chief Mike Milligan, 71, explained why. The fires were 51 percent contained.

"This is a monster", Orange County Supervisor Todd Spitzer said at a news conference Wednesday.

The largest fire in California history is the Mendocino Complex Fire, which consists of the Ranch and River fires - in Northern California.

Environmentalists "make outdated and unscientific arguments, void of facts", Zinke wrote, "because they can not defend the merits of their policy preferences year after year as our forests and homes burn to the ground". Two other people, a state fire heavy equipment mechanic assigned to the fire and a utility worker trying to restore power near the fire, have died in auto accidents.

Three firefighters suffered minor injuries battling the relatively small blaze, which has consumed more than 18,000 acres since it began on Tuesday, fire officials said.

Vanessa Coleman