Monday, September 24, 2018

Daily Updates

Progress made in battling Southern California wildfire

  • APTOPIX-California-Wildfires-46

    Homes destroyed by a wildfire are seen from an aerial view Friday in the Keswick neighborhood of Redding, Calif. The Carr Fire in Northern California has killed eight people and burned more than 1,000 homes. It is 55 percent contained.

    Associated Press

  • APTOPIX-California-Wildfires-1-20

    A swimming pool is all that remains of a hilltop home after being burned by a wildfire that swept through Shasta County an area west of Redding, Calif., Friday, Aug. 10, 2018. (AP Photo/Michael Burke)

    Michael Burke

  • APTOPIX-California-Wildfires-2-24

    A truck and a street are covered in fire retardant dropped by an air tanker as crews battle a wildfire Friday, Aug. 10, 2018, in Lake Elsinore, Calif. Firefighters fought to spare homes Friday from a growing Southern California forest fire, a day after flames came perilously close to neighborhoods and destroyed one house. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

    Marcio Jose Sanchez

  • California-Wildfires-3-77

    Eric Garcia delivers mail in a neighborhood burned in the Carr Fire, Friday, Aug. 10, 2018, in Redding, Calif. (AP Photo/John Locher)

    John Locher

  • California-Wildfires-4-73

    Eric Garcia delivers mail in a neighborhood burned in the Carr Fire, Friday, Aug. 10, 2018, in Redding, Calif. (AP Photo/John Locher)

    John Locher

  • California-Wildfires-5-76

    Volunteers with Samaritan's Purse sift through the charred remains of a home burned in the Carr Fire, Friday, Aug. 10, 2018, in Redding, Calif. (AP Photo/John Locher)

    John Locher

  • California-Wildfires-6-68

    Emilio Manzo evacuates with his two dogs as a wildfire threatens a neighborhood Friday, Aug. 10, 2018, in Lake Elsinore, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

    Marcio Jose Sanchez

  • APTOPIX-California-Wildfires-7-12

    Fire crews line up as they watch a wildfire on a ridge top while protecting a residential area Friday, Aug. 10, 2018, in Lake Elsinore, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

    Marcio Jose Sanchez

  • APTOPIX-California-Wildfires-8-9

    A firefighter hoses down hot spots caused by a wildfire Friday, Aug. 10, 2018, in Lake Elsinore, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

    Marcio Jose Sanchez

  • California-Wildfires-9-52

    A helicopter drops water on to a wildfire Friday, Aug. 10, 2018, in Lake Elsinore, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

    Marcio Jose Sanchez

  • California-Wildfires-10-45

    Rose Wyckoff holds up three kittens to a passing fire truck in a neighborhood destroyed by the Carr Fire, Friday, Aug. 10, 2018, in Redding, Calif. Wyckoff brought the kittens to a veterinarian after she couldn't find the mother. (AP Photo/John Locher)

    John Locher

  • California-Wildfires-11-35

    Volunteers with Samaritan's Purse sift through the charred remains of a home burned in the Carr Fire, Friday, Aug. 10, 2018, in Redding, Calif. (AP Photo/John Locher)

    John Locher

  • California-Wildfires-12-24

    A firefighter walks in front of a home as smoke from an advancing wildfire fills the air Friday, Aug. 10, 2018, in Lake Elsinore, Calif. Firefighters are protecting foothill neighborhoods in the city of Lake Elsinore near where the blaze flared up amid unpredictable winds a day earlier. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

    Marcio Jose Sanchez

  • California-Wildfires-13-28

    Kenny Spliethof rests near the rubble of the home he was renting that was burned in the Carr Fire, Friday, Aug. 10, 2018, in Redding, Calif. (AP Photo/John Locher)

    John Locher

  • California-Wildfires-14-22

    A flag flies at half staff amid the rubble of homes burned in the Carr Fire, Friday, Aug. 10, 2018, in Redding, Calif. (AP Photo/John Locher)

    John Locher

LAKE ELSINORE, Calif. — 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 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 33 square miles by Saturday morning. But firefighters also made progress, with containment rising from 10 to 29 percent.

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.

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 2.6 square miles and was 70 percent 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 508 square miles and was 67 percent contained by Saturday.

The Carr Fire at Redding in Northern California has killed eight people and burned more than 1,000 homes. It is 55 percent contained.


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