California Homes; 20,000 Flee

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High temperatures and dry grass and brush have made it hard for firefighters to get a handle on the blaze. Some of the orders were lifted on Saturday morning, including for Horsethief, McVicker and Rice canyons.

Mr Clark is alleged to have sent text messages stating that he planned to commit arson in Holy Jim Canyon, where the fire broke out on Monday.

Forrest Clark is facing a number of charges in the Holy Fire case.

The man charged with deliberately starting the fire appeared in court Friday, but his arraignment was postponed. Some communities in Riverside County are under mandatory evacuation orders affecting about 7,500 residential structures, according to authorities. When a court commissioner ordered his bail to remain at $1 million, Clark said he can easily afford it and asked if he could pay it right away.

Firefighters aided by cooler weather have made good progress against a blaze burning for almost a month near Yosemite National Park in the northern part of the state.

Steep, inaccessible terrain has hampered crews tackling the Holy fire and the blaze was only 10 percent contained on Friday.

At least 20,000 residents have been forced to leave their homes because of the blaze, which is still burning out of control.

A plane used to fight the fire had to make an emergency landing Friday following a bird strike, officials said.

Volunteer Fire Chief Mike Milligan said in an cell phone interview with The Washington Post that he has been flagging problems with Forrest Gordon Clark for over three years. "Who would go out with low humidity and high winds and the highest heat temperatures this time of the year and intentionally set the forest on fire?".

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During a Wednesday afternoon briefing, Orange County Fire Authority Battalion Chief Shane Sherwood said the fire began "around and near" Clark's cabin in Holy Jim Canyon.

Over 600 firefighters are battling the Holy Fire, which is just one of 18 wildfires raging across the state. CalFire noted on its web site that "heavy timber and fuel loading have challenged firefighting efforts" to contain the Carr Fire.

To the west and east, the Ranch Fire fire is settling down behind containment lines.

"We know this district burns, but it should never burn because of an intentional act", Spitzer said.

The Mendocino Complex fire has been declared the largest in state history and has already engulfed 290,692 acres.

Environmentalists "make outdated and unscientific arguments, void of facts", Zinke wrote, "because they can not defend the merits of their policy preferences year after year as our forests and homes burn to the ground".

Forest officials said the 21,473-acre Holy Fire was 29 percent contained-triple the estimate from the night before.

Though it's exploded in size, more firefighters are fighting a fire near Redding that has killed six people and destroyed more than 1,000 homes and businesses.