California Man Arrested in Suspected Connection to Holy Fire

August 9, 2018, 5:29 PM UTC

A man was arrested in connection to California’s Holy Fire, which has so far burned 9,600 acres, destroyed 12 buildings, and forced 20,000 people to evacuate.

Forrest Gordon Clark, 51, is accused of threatening firefighting officials in an email last week, saying “this place will burn,” CNN reports.

The blaze began Monday in the Cleveland National Forest, and still remains only 5% contained. More than 600 firefighters are combating the flames, and temperatures have reached over 100 degrees.

Clark owns a cabin in Holy Jim Canyon, reports The Orange County Register, where he is known for erratic behavior, feuding with neighbors, and spreading conspiracy theories. Clark claims he was asleep when the fire started, according to an interview with ABC7 Eyewitness News. He also said he had been awake for more than 20 days due to treatment at a hospital, and feared attack from gangs.

It’s not clear how the fire was started, but authorities told the Los Angeles Times they identified Clark based on witness accounts and evidence at the fire.

He was arrested late Tuesday night on suspicion of two counts of felony arson, one count of felony threat to terrorize, and another count of misdemeanor resisting arrest. His bail is set at $1 million.


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