Firefighters battle raging Southern California wildfire

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Early on Friday, more than 1,200 firefighters were fighting the blaze, building barriers and constructing containment lines to slow the approaching wildfire.

A 51-year-old man who is accused of making the threat, "This place will burn", for over three years has been arrested and charged with starting the so-called "Holy Fire", causing almost 10,000 acres to burn and 20,000 people to be placed under evacuation orders at Cleveland National Forest in Southern California. Twelve structures have been confirmed destroyed in the fire so far.

More than 14,000 firefighters are spread out across the state as well as army personnel, inmates, the national guard, reinforcements from other states and from New Zealand and Australia.

When bail was set Mr Clark said: "I can handle a million (dollars) right now, easily".

"I've been trying for years to get someone to pay attention and nobody has really had the opportunity to do that until now", he said.

"The place is going to burn just like you planned", Clark later texted, according to Milligan.

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The head of the Orange County team fighting the Holy Fire said the blaze had started near Clark's cabin in Jim Canyon.

Zinke, a former Republican congressman from Montana, is making his second trip to California to survey fire damage this summer.

The largest in state history is the Mendocino Complex Fire, which consists of the Ranch and River fires in Northern California.

"I was asleep. I had two earplugs in", he said, according to a report by KABC-TV. If convicted as charged, Clark faces life in prison. The fires were 51% contained. For the past three years, Milligan says, he has been warning the local sheriff's office and U.S. Forest Service about Clark, repeatedly telling them, "You have to do something or he's going to kill someone or burn this place down".

Clark's arraignment was delayed until Friday because he had refused to come out of his cell to appear in court Thursday.

When asked if he knew how the fire started, Clark said he had no idea.

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Firefighters made significant progress overnight Friday against a raging wildfire burning in the Cleveland National Forest that was threatening communities around Lake Elsinore.

Residents living in the communities of Phelan/Pinon Hills are reporting heavy ash falling along with a strong smell of smoke that has blanketed the area prompting 911 to receive multiple reports of an alleged fire nearby.

Forrest Clark, 51, made several outbursts, claiming his life was being threatened.

Incredible photos show apocalyptic scenes as firefighters try to battle the blaze.

Many schools have been forced to close, and more evacuation orders were being issued.

The fire has been fuelled by dry brush covering steep terrain and stoked by wind gusts during the night, a spokesman for the incident said.

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The forest service said: "We continue to actively engage, but can not get ahead of the fire".