Firefighters battle Holy Fire as it approaches structures

Australian and New Zealand fire crews help tackle California wildfire

The blaze has already forced the evacuation of 7,400 homes and more than 21,000 people.

Facebook Clark is accused of starting the Holy Fire that has burned almost 20,000 acres in Southern California and is only 5 percent contained.

The Carr and Mendocino Complex fires that have raged in Northern California - the former having killed at least eight people, and the latter having surpassed 300,000 acres and becoming the largest in state history - are both still burning, neither fully contained. Five civilians, including a PG&E worker, have also died in the fire.

Interested in California Wildfires? The fires were 51 percent contained.

Forrest Gordon Clark was arrested on Wednesday on suspicion of two counts of felony arson, and one count each of felony threat to terrorize and misdemeanour resisting arrest. Thanks to new technology, Edman says, the National Weather Service has been better able to track the movement of smoke across the US from fires based in California, capturing it in visualizations and maps for just a few years now.

Clark spoke to a videographer from OnScene outside his Holy Jim Canyon prior to his arrest, insisting he had nothing to do with the fire.

The National Weather Service says smoke from the raging fires out West has impacted cities thousands of miles away - and the atmosphere above them.

Forrest Clark, 51, was supposed to be in court on Thursday, but he refused to go.

About 20,000 residents are under mandatory evacuation orders after a Southern California fire - which authorities say was set intentionally - spread this week.

A firefighter battles the Holy Fire burning in the Cleveland National Forest along a hillside at Temescal Valley in Corona, Calif., Thursday.

The volunteer fire chief also noted that all of the residents in the 14 cabins in Holy Jim Canyon were afraid of Clark.

Susan Schroeder, spokeswoman for the Orange County district attorney's office, said her office would "bring him to justice for these bad crimes".

Firefighters worked tirelessly to put the Holy Fire to bed as its reached homes. "Later, he came back and told me what a jerk I was and everyone was after him".

The fire is burning about an hour east of the ocean near the town of Lake Elsinore.

It is far from the only blaze threatening the state, however.

The fires all grew explosively in the past two weeks as winds whipped the flames through forest and rural areas full of timber and brush that is bone-dry from years of drought and a summer of record-breaking heat.

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

Emergency dispatchers reported the fire was 300 acres as of about 4:50 p.m. and the Pit 1 Powerhouse was being evacuated.

The phone numbers for residents to call for information on the Holy Fire have changed, according to CalFire.

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