The Latest: Winds Still Driving Southern California Fire

8:30 p.m.–Fire officials said, “the blaze near homes in the hills above Lake Elsinore has grown to nearly 30 square miles (77 square kilometers) after nearly doubling in size overnight. However, firefighters also doubled their containment from 5 to 10 percent”.The man charged with setting the fire, local resident Forrest Clark, was in court Friday where he made several bizarre outbursts and called the charges a lie. His arraignment was postponed and he remains jailed. Some 20,000 people have been under evacuation orders for days. The fire has destroyed 13 homes and cabins and thousands of houses remain threatened.

1:35 p.m–U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen asked residents to prepare for future emergencies and thanked firefighters and other personnel battling California’s deadliest wildfire this year. Nielsen spoke Friday at a press briefing in Redding, California, to update the public on the Carr Fire in Shasta County. The fire was 51 percent contained as of Friday morning and was burning into remote and rugged forest land. Grass, brush, and trees are so dry from years of drought and recent heat that the potential remains for the fire to grow.

12:30 p.m.–The man accused of setting a Southern California forest fire appeared in a jailhouse courtroom and made several outbursts, claiming that his life was being threatened. A court commissioner on Friday postponed Forrest Gordon Clark’s arraignment until Aug. 17. When the commissioner ordered bail to remain at $1 million, Clark shouted that he could easily afford it. A fire official has said Clark sent threatening emails, including one that said, “this place will burn.”

8:10 am–Teresita Reyes and her husband are among some 20,000 people under evacuation orders in Southern California as a forest fire swept through foothill neighborhoods.

The 51-year-old state health inspector says she was attending a friend’s wedding Wednesday when she found out home in the city of Lake Elsinore was under a mandatory evacuation order.

She says she congratulated the couple and snuck out quietly to slog back home through traffic, pack another suitcase of clothes and grab her passport and a box of important documents.

7:00 a.m.–Fire crews have made progress against the biggest blaze in California history but officials say the fire won’t be fully contained until September. The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said Friday the blaze in Northern California is 60 percent contained. The Mendocino Complex Fire of twin fires burning side by side has been raging through tinder-dry vegetation for two weeks.

6:15 a.m.–Firefighters battled through the night to keep a raging forest fire from reaching foothill neighborhoods in Southern California. Hundreds of more firefighters have joined the battle, bringing the total to 1,200. The fire has blackened 16 square miles (41 square kilometers) of timber and brush and is only 5 percent contained. More than 20,000 residents are evacuated.

 

by Sawan Kumar on August 12, 2018

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