STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Fire rages feet away from California home

The Holy Fire in California continues to burn with more than 21,000 people under mandatory evacuations.

Posted: Aug 13, 2018 9:01 AM
Updated: Aug 13, 2018 9:22 AM

Firefighters battling more than a dozen fires in California made major progress over the weekend, quadrupling the containment of one blaze threatening homes in the southern part of the state.

The Holy Fire was 51% contained by late Sunday, up from 10% on Friday.

For the past week, the blaze has scorched through canyons and across mountains in Orange and Riverside counties, fueled by dry vegetation as it crept into residential areas.

With the firefighters' ongoing progress, authorities lifted evacuation orders in several neighborhoods in Lake Elsinore, the city most threatened by the fire.

About 11,120 people remain under mandatory evacuation, down from 21,000 on Friday.

Man accused of arson

Forrest Gordon Clark, 51, was charged with aggravated arson and criminal threats, among other crimes, for allegedly starting the fire. He's being held on $1 million bail, and faces a maximum sentence of life in prison if convicted.

A volunteer fire chief said that two weeks ago, Clark sent him a message saying, "The place is going to burn." Clark has denied involvement in starting the fire, saying, "It's all a lie."

So far, the Holy Fire has scorched more than 22,700 acres in the Cleveland National Forest.

California Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency for Orange and Riverside counties, and several school districts have canceled classes due to fire warnings and unhealthy air quality.

While it's not the largest burning in the state, the Holy Fire has raised concerns about effects on residential communities.

New normal?

In addition to the Holy Fire, firefighters in California are battling at least 10 large blazes, according to the National Interagency Fire Center.

California is seeing more destructive wildfire seasons because of dry conditions and high temperatures, and Brown has warned that this is the new normal. The state spent a quarter of its annual firefighting budget in July.

The largest blaze in state history is the Mendocino Complex Fire, which consists of the Ranch and River fires in Northern California. It has burned a combined 336,399 acres and injured two firefighters. The River Fire is almost contained, and the larger Ranch Fire is 62% contained.

The Carr Fire

The second biggest is the Carr Fire in Shasta County, also in Northern California. The deadly fire has burned for nearly three weeks and killed eight people. It has consumed 201,680 acres so far and is 61% contained.

On Thursday, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue tweeted that he and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke would be visiting the city of Redding Monday, where the Carr Fire is about half contained.

On Sunday Zinke posted images to Twitter of destruction in Shasta County.

"Wow. This used to be the neighborhood of some of my employees. Despite losing everything they own, many of them still come to work to restore power, fight fires, and repair damaged facilities. My heart and gratitude goes out to all of them," Zinke tweeted.

"I have no words that describe the loss and devastation experienced by the community. I've been to a lot of fires and this is just something else. We are here for you," he said.

Yellowstone sites reopening

The third largest is the Ferguson Fire, near Yosemite National Park, incinerating nearly 96,000 acres. It has lasted nearly a month and is 83% contained.

The National Park Service says Yellowstone's Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias will reopen to the public on Monday at 9 a.m. and the Yosemite Valley on Tuesday. Both had been closed due to the Ferguson Fire and the NPS warned motorists to be cautious of fire and smoke on the roads.

"We'd like to express our sincere gratitude to the firefighters and Incident command teams for their great efforts in suppressing the Ferguson Fire. We'd also like to express our gratitude and thanks to our gateway communities who tirelessly helped visitors to the area while they were being impacted by the fire," the park's superintendent said in a release.

Fire officials have issued a grim prediction, warning that massive blazes will cost the state billions of dollars more over the next decade.

"What we're seeing in California right now is more destructive, larger fires burning at rates that we have historically never seen," Cal Fire spokesman Jonathan Cox said.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 69255

Reported Deaths: 2996
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion15029724
Lake7139273
Elkhart463077
Allen3662158
St. Joseph320379
Hamilton2543104
Hendricks1774105
Vanderburgh176312
Cass17549
Johnson1667118
Porter120939
Tippecanoe111811
Clark110945
Madison86265
LaPorte84329
Howard82465
Kosciusko82213
Bartholomew74847
Marshall74422
Floyd71845
Monroe69530
Delaware65452
Boone64446
Dubois64312
Noble63729
Hancock62838
Jackson5544
LaGrange54610
Warrick52830
Shelby52226
Vigo50910
Grant50729
Dearborn47328
Morgan43732
Henry36418
Clinton3603
White34710
Montgomery34221
Wayne33410
Lawrence33127
Decatur31832
Harrison30022
Miami2592
Scott25210
Daviess24919
Greene24034
Putnam2338
Franklin22911
DeKalb2214
Jennings21312
Jasper2102
Gibson2024
Steuben2013
Ripley1907
Perry17212
Orange16424
Starke1647
Fayette1627
Wabash1613
Posey1600
Jefferson1522
Carroll1482
Whitley1486
Fulton1472
Knox1340
Wells1342
Huntington1193
Tipton1176
Washington1171
Spencer1123
Newton11110
Randolph1074
Clay1015
Adams822
Owen821
Jay810
Rush804
Sullivan781
Pulaski711
Brown701
Fountain642
Benton600
Blackford552
Ohio514
Parke481
Pike470
Crawford440
Switzerland430
Martin420
Vermillion420
Union330
Warren191
Unassigned0202

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 95106

Reported Deaths: 3570
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin17404515
Cuyahoga12881482
Hamilton9248248
Lucas5035319
Montgomery409280
Summit3338217
Marion289644
Butler274360
Mahoning2437253
Pickaway236542
Stark1713137
Warren166935
Lorain165077
Columbiana158360
Trumbull1451105
Fairfield126427
Delaware121918
Licking115844
Clark109214
Lake105436
Wood95458
Clermont85911
Medina84833
Miami78137
Tuscarawas75614
Portage72460
Allen66742
Greene63511
Belmont59026
Richland54712
Ashtabula54445
Erie53527
Geauga53544
Mercer53513
Wayne50858
Ross4194
Huron3784
Ottawa36125
Athens3501
Sandusky34317
Darke34126
Madison33610
Hancock3332
Holmes3226
Auglaize2265
Lawrence2250
Union2221
Jefferson2103
Muskingum1991
Scioto1991
Putnam19817
Washington19822
Coshocton1856
Knox1857
Preble1722
Crawford1685
Seneca1673
Shelby1644
Morrow1602
Clinton1536
Hardin15312
Champaign1502
Fulton1411
Highland1361
Ashland1333
Defiance1324
Logan1302
Wyandot1257
Williams1243
Brown1181
Guernsey1127
Hocking1119
Carroll1105
Perry1093
Henry1081
Fayette1020
Monroe9118
Pike700
Van Wert701
Jackson680
Paulding620
Gallia581
Adams562
Vinton302
Meigs260
Harrison211
Morgan200
Noble160
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
Broken Clouds
72° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 72°
Angola
Broken Clouds
70° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 70°
Huntington
Scattered Clouds
69° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 69°
Decatur
Broken Clouds
70° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 70°
Van Wert
Scattered Clouds
72° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 72°
Sunny Wednesday
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events