An intentionally set wildfire grew perilously close to homes in Southern California on Thursday as evacuation orders expanded to more than 20,000 residents, though some homeowners stayed behind to fend off the flames themselves.
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.
The mandatory evacuation orders were issued as the blaze, dubbed the "Holy fire", threatened homes around Lake Elsinore in Orange County.
Johnson said the parties quickly get big and raucous, in part, because of social media. About 4,000 firefighters are working to tackle the blaze.
He had been scheduled to appear before the court on Thursday but refused to leave his jail cell.
Cal Fire Battalion Chief Jonathan Cox said the area has few natural barriers to slow flames and terrain that firefighters can't get to.
All schools in the Lake Elsinore Unified, Menifee Unified, Perris Union High School and Perris Elementary School districts in Riverside County will be closed Saturday due to poor air quality caused by the fire.
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He is being held on $1 million bail and expected in court Thursday.
Meanwhile, as the Holy Fire rages, firefighters continue battling two others.
The charges can carry a life sentence.
The Holy Fire is just one of several fires burning in California, which have displaced tens of thousands of people.
Areas of direct smoke impacts and Unhealthful air quality may include portions of: San Bernardino County: Areas 32 (Northwest San Bernardino Valley), 33 (Southwest San Bernardino Valley), 34 (Central San Bernardino Valley), 35 (East San Bernardino Valley), 36 (West San Bernardino Mountains), 37 (Central San Bernardino Mountains), and 38 (East San Bernardino Mountains).
Michael Milligan, chief of the Holy Jim Volunteer Fire Department, told the newspaper that Clark had a decade-long feud with neighbors and sent him threatening emails last week, including one that said, "this place will burn". Extremely dry brush in the area, combined with steep hillsides, created ideal conditions for the blazes to spread.
The Mendocino Complex Fire in northern California, which is made up of two separate fires, has burned at least 302,086 acres since it began on 27 July. A smoky haze stretches from the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountain range to Sacramento and hovers over the San Francisco Bay Area, with most major population centers in between enduring air quality that's considered risky for many residents.
Meanwhile, the months that are historically California's most risky fire months are yet to come.