Publication Date August 10, 2018

State of Emergency Declared for Southern California's Holy Fire; Infernos Grow in Northern California

United States
A plane drops fire retardant behind homes along McVicker Canyon Park Road in Lake Elsinore, California, as the Holy Fire burns near homes on Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2018. Photo: Weather Underground

California Gov. Jerry Brown has declared a state of emergency for areas impacted by an aggressive wildfire burning south of Los Angeles.

The emergency declaration was issued Thursday for Orange and Riverside counties because of the so-called Holy Fire, burning in the Cleveland National Forest. The inferno has chased some 20,000 residents from their homes, and others were urged, though not required, to evacuate.


The fire, which started on Monday, has grown to about 16 square miles and is 5 percent contained. Gusty winds and triple-digit heat have complicated the firefighting efforts.

"These conditions will increase the likelihood of extreme fire behavior as well," said the U.S. Forest Service.

On Wednesday, officials announced that Forrest Gordon Clark, 51, was arrested and accused of arson in connection with the fire.

Eighth Death Confirmed in Carr Fire

Fire officials on Thursday confirmed another death in the so-called Carr Fire that destroyed more than 1,000 homes in just a few days' time.

Andrew Brake, 40, died in a single-car accident on his way to work on the fire as a heavy equipment mechanic. He was a six-year Cal Fire veteran.

He became the eighth person to be killed by the Carr Fire, which has burned for more than two weeks in and around Redding, California.