Crews make progress battling Southern California wildfire

They are fighting California's biggest fire — in steep forest terrain with rattlesnakes scorpions and poisonous plants

Burning through nearly 177,450 acres, it was 48% contained on Thursday.

The fire - named for the canyon where it started - destroyed a dozen cabins after it broke out Monday.

All schools in the Lake Elsinore Unified, Menifee Unified, Perris Union High School and Perris Elementary School districts in Riverside County will be closed Saturday due to poor air quality caused by the fire.

He is accused of deliberately starting the latest fast-moving Holy Fire and faces life in prison if convicted of arson and other charges.

Forrest Clark made several outbursts in his first court appearance on Friday, after refusing to leave his cell the day prior.

The blaze has destroyed 119 homes but none in recent days.

He is being held on a $1-million bail and is set to appear in court on Thursday.

The fast-moving fire has blackened 10,236 acres of the Cleveland National Forest and was only 5% contained Thursday evening.

The fire is burning about an hour east of the ocean near the town of Lake Elsinore.

The Shasta-Trinity National Forest and Whiskeytown National Recreation Area are among the areas that have been affected by the Carr Fire, which has killed 8 people and forced tens of thousands to evacuate.

"I said, 'I want nothing to do with you, Forrest".

North of San Francisco, fire crews continued progress in corralling the twin fires known as the Mendocino Complex.

The Orange County Register reported that Clark owns a cabin in the community of Holy Jim, where the fire began, and that his was the only one to survive the flames.

With so many wildfires throughout the state, incident commanders initially struggled to get enough firefighters on the lines of the Holy Fire.

These hot and windy conditions can create extreme fire behaviour, as well as increasing dangers for those tackling the blaze.

Milligan said he did not know what he meant, adding that Clark sent emails to other people in which he talked about burning something. It was 51 percent contained with firefighters struggling in steep terrain to control it, CalFire said.

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

Shane Sherwood with the Orange County Fire Authority said the evidence gathered led them to believe the fire was an intentional act, but are still working through the evidence to determine how it was started.

About 100 miles southwest of the Carr Fire, almost 4,000 firefighters are battling the Mendocino Complex Fire, which has burned 307,000 acres in three counties north of San Francisco, CalFire said. Eight people have died as a result of the fires.

Residents flee a neighborhood with their belongings after a spot fire broke out at the Holy Fire in Lake Elsinore, California, southeast of Los Angeles, on August 10, 2018.

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