Holy Fire in pictures: Apocalyptic scenes as wildfires rage in California

Australian and New Zealand fire crews help tackle California wildfire

Cal Fire announced Friday morning that the blaze, which consists of the River and Ranch fires, has scorched 305,152 acres (476.8 square miles), an area larger than Los Angeles. "I got burned. I woke up and my stuff was all on fire".

Councilman Bob Magee said: 'I also want to remind you not to panic.

"Until this thing is barking at my door, I'm going to stick with it", he told the San Bernardino Sun. Milligan called back and though the reception was poor in the canyon, he recognized Clark's voice, he said. He alerted the US Forest Service that, "You have to do something or he's gonna kill someone or burn this place down".

"Remember when Gandalf said, 'If there is a dragon in the neighborhood, include it in your plans?'" Milligan asked, paraphrasing the wizard in J.R.R. Tolkien's "The Hobbit".

Meanwhile, a man charged with starting the fire refused to go to court Thursday.

He faces up to life in prison if convicted, according to prosecutors, who said the fire has damaged or destroyed at least 14 homes.

Speaking at a dinner with business leaders on Wednesday, the president expressed his support for the families that have lost loved ones in the California fires, and said his administration was working closely with state and local authorities.

The fire started on Monday afternoon near the Riverside and Orange County border in Cleveland National Forest.

Before he was arrested, Clark told a freelance cameraman he was asleep when the fire started and had no idea how it began.

Forrest Gordon Clark, 51, is accused of making the threat, "This place will burn", for over three years. The latest estimates put containment for some of the individual fires at as low as 5%.

"Firefighters continue to battle the blaze around the clock", the national forest tweet said.

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But they are hopeful that weather conditions will improve when temperatures fall over the weekend. The 51-year-old state health inspector congratulated the couple and left quietly for her house in the city of Lake Elsinore to grab important documents.

Fire crews worked in 100-plus-degree (38 Celsius) heat.

The team has not confirmed that any structures have been destroyed since day one of the fire on August 6 when approximately 12 structures in Trabuco Canyon were destroyed.

According to Decanter, a couple of Mendocino County wineries, including Fetzer Vineyards, have been issued evacuation orders, though Lake County vineyards bore the brunt of the smoke, with staff having to be sent home because of it.

Orange County Supervisor Todd Spitzer said, "This shouldn't be called the Holy Jim Fire, this should be called the Holy Hell Fire".

"They're leaving property behind".

The McVicker Canyon, Rice Canyon, Horsethief Canyon, El Cariso, Rancho Capistrano, Blue Jay, Indian Canyon, Glen Eden, Sycamore Creek and Mayhew Canyon communities are under mandatory evacuation orders.

As The Sacramento Bee reported, more than 14,000 firefighters are now battling 16 different wildfires across the state.

And near the Northern California city of Redding, the year's deadliest fire was almost half surrounded and was burning into remote and rugged forest land.

The biggest fire now is the Mendocino Complex fire, which actually consists of two big fires - the Ranch Fire and the River Fire - that together have consumed more than 300,000 acres. Two other people, a state fire heavy equipment mechanic assigned to the fire and a utility worker trying to restore power near the fire, have died in auto accidents.

More than 600,000 acres across the state have been consumed by this year's fire season, which experts warn is growing longer each year.

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