Crews make progress battling Southern California wildfire - | WBTV Charlotte

Crews make progress battling Southern California wildfire

(AP Photo/Michael Burke). Homes destroyed by a wildfire are seen from an aerial view in the Keswick neighborhood of Redding, Calif., Friday, Aug. 10, 2018. Fire crews have made progress against the biggest blaze in California history but officials say ... (AP Photo/Michael Burke). Homes destroyed by a wildfire are seen from an aerial view in the Keswick neighborhood of Redding, Calif., Friday, Aug. 10, 2018. Fire crews have made progress against the biggest blaze in California history but officials say ...
(AP Photo/Michael Burke). 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). 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/John Locher). 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). 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). 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). 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/Marcio Jose Sanchez). 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 nea... (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez). 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 nea...

By MARCIO SANCHEZ and AMANDA LEE MYERS
Associated Press

LAKE ELSINORE, Calif. (AP) - 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 (85 square kilometers) 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 (6.9 sq. kilometers) 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 (1,315 sq. kilometers) and was 67 percent contained by Saturday.

The two-week-old Carr Fire that killed eight people and burned more than 1,000 homes was 55 percent contained.

Elsewhere in the West, a firefighter was injured Saturday and residents in parts of two Washington state cities were told to evacuate due to a growing wildfire.

Authorities say the Grass Valley fire started Saturday morning and windy conditions helped it grow to 1.5 square miles (3.8 sq. kilometers). The fire is burning in grass and timber.

Grant County Sheriff's Office spokesman Kyle Foreman tells the Spokesman -Review that the injured firefighter was flown to Seattle's Harborview Medical Center.

___

This story has been corrected to say that eight people, not six, died in the Carr Fire.

___

Myers reported from Los Angeles. AP journalists Michael Balsamo and Christopher Weber in Los Angeles, Amy Taxin in Orange County and Olga Rodriguez in San Francisco contributed to this story.

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Deadly fires in CaliforniaMore>>

  • Yosemite reopens to visitors with smoky air, limited lodging

    Yosemite reopens to visitors with smoky air, limited lodging

    Tuesday, August 14 2018 2:11 AM EDT2018-08-14 06:11:30 GMT
    Tuesday, August 14 2018 9:54 PM EDT2018-08-15 01:54:18 GMT
    The nearly three-week closure of Yosemite was the result of a massive wildfire that has burned 150 square miles and killed at least two firefighters since it started July 13. (Source: KCRA/CNN)The nearly three-week closure of Yosemite was the result of a massive wildfire that has burned 150 square miles and killed at least two firefighters since it started July 13. (Source: KCRA/CNN)

    Most of Yosemite National Park is set to reopen Tuesday after a 20-day closure that cost the tourist magnet millions of dollars and devastated local businesses.

    More >>

    Most of Yosemite National Park is set to reopen Tuesday after a 20-day closure that cost the tourist magnet millions of dollars and devastated local businesses.

    More >>
  • Outdoor fun dwindles as smoky haze hangs over California

    Outdoor fun dwindles as smoky haze hangs over California

    Thursday, August 9 2018 2:30 AM EDT2018-08-09 06:30:22 GMT
    Tuesday, August 14 2018 1:03 PM EDT2018-08-14 17:03:06 GMT
    (AP Photo/Lorin Eleni Gill). The city of Berkeley, Calif., sits in a dull, smoky haze Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2018. The air quality has hit unhealthy levels in cities miles away as California's largest wildfire ever burns to the north.(AP Photo/Lorin Eleni Gill). The city of Berkeley, Calif., sits in a dull, smoky haze Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2018. The air quality has hit unhealthy levels in cities miles away as California's largest wildfire ever burns to the north.
    No major wildfires are burning near Sacramento but for two weeks a dull haze and the faint smell of smoke from distant blazes has blanketed California's capital region.More >>
    No major wildfires are burning near Sacramento but for two weeks a dull haze and the faint smell of smoke from distant blazes has blanketed California's capital region.More >>
  • The Latest: Firefighter killed battling California blaze

    The Latest: Firefighter killed battling California blaze

    Monday, August 13 2018 11:20 PM EDT2018-08-14 03:20:36 GMT
    Tuesday, August 14 2018 1:54 AM EDT2018-08-14 05:54:11 GMT
    Authorities say a firefighter has been killed battling the largest record blaze in California history. (AP Photo/Patrick Record)Authorities say a firefighter has been killed battling the largest record blaze in California history. (AP Photo/Patrick Record)

    Authorities say a firefighter has been killed battling the largest record blaze in California history.

    More >>

    Authorities say a firefighter has been killed battling the largest record blaze in California history.

    More >>
  • National, world weatherWeather and disaster coverageMore>>

  • Yosemite reopens to visitors with smoky air, limited lodging

    Yosemite reopens to visitors with smoky air, limited lodging

    Tuesday, August 14 2018 2:11 AM EDT2018-08-14 06:11:30 GMT
    Tuesday, August 14 2018 9:54 PM EDT2018-08-15 01:54:18 GMT
    The nearly three-week closure of Yosemite was the result of a massive wildfire that has burned 150 square miles and killed at least two firefighters since it started July 13. (Source: KCRA/CNN)The nearly three-week closure of Yosemite was the result of a massive wildfire that has burned 150 square miles and killed at least two firefighters since it started July 13. (Source: KCRA/CNN)

    Most of Yosemite National Park is set to reopen Tuesday after a 20-day closure that cost the tourist magnet millions of dollars and devastated local businesses.

    More >>

    Most of Yosemite National Park is set to reopen Tuesday after a 20-day closure that cost the tourist magnet millions of dollars and devastated local businesses.

    More >>
  • Albania hit by magnitudes 5.4 and 5.1 tremors; homes crack

    Albania hit by magnitudes 5.4 and 5.1 tremors; homes crack

    Saturday, August 11 2018 1:55 PM EDT2018-08-11 17:55:39 GMT
    Tuesday, August 14 2018 9:10 PM EDT2018-08-15 01:10:07 GMT
    An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 5.1 struck off northern Albania on Saturday, damaging some buildings authorities said.More >>
    An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 5.1 struck off northern Albania on Saturday, damaging some buildings authorities said.More >>
  • Lombok lifted 10 inches by quake that killed nearly 400

    Lombok lifted 10 inches by quake that killed nearly 400

    Friday, August 10 2018 10:40 PM EDT2018-08-11 02:40:28 GMT
    Tuesday, August 14 2018 9:09 PM EDT2018-08-15 01:09:55 GMT
    (AP Photo/Fauzy Chaniago). Motorists ride past buildings ruined by Sunday's earthquake in Pamenang, Lombok Island, Indonesia, Friday, Aug. 10, 2018. The north of the popular resort island has been devastated by Sunday's earthquake, damaging thousands o...(AP Photo/Fauzy Chaniago). Motorists ride past buildings ruined by Sunday's earthquake in Pamenang, Lombok Island, Indonesia, Friday, Aug. 10, 2018. The north of the popular resort island has been devastated by Sunday's earthquake, damaging thousands o...
    Scientists say the powerful Indonesian earthquake that killed more than 300 people lifted the island it struck by as much as 25 centimeters (10 inches).More >>
    Scientists say the powerful Indonesian earthquake that killed more than 300 people lifted the island it struck by as much as 25 centimeters (10 inches).More >>
Powered by Frankly