Local firefighters help provide structure and property protection along Oak Drive and Buck Mountain Road during a vegetation fire which burned one structure and several acres of land., Sunday, Aug. 12, 2018, near Alta Sierra, Calif. (Elias Funez/The Union via AP)

Cooler weather helps crews fight Southern California wildfire

The Holy Fire has destroyed 16 structures in the Cleveland National Forest

Aided by slightly cooler temperatures, firefighters made steady progress Sunday in battling a wildfire that destroyed 16 structures as it raged through Southern California’s Cleveland National Forest.

The Holy Fire was 41 per cent contained Sunday afternoon after burning across 92 kilometres of dry timber and brush, said Lynne Tolmachoff of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

“The weather out here in California seems to be cooling down today and over the next couple days, and that should hopefully help firefighters get even more containment,” Tolmachoff said. “They should make better progress over the next couple of days.”

They’ll need to, with temperatures, expected to again reach 100 degrees or more by the end of the week.

The Holy Fire — named for Holy Jim Canyon, where it began last Monday — is one of nearly 20 blazes burning across California as the state sees earlier, longer and more destructive wildfire seasons because of drought, warmer weather attributed to climate change and home construction deeper into forests.

With firefighters beginning to get a better handle on the blaze, they began to lift evacuation orders over the weekend for areas previously in its path, said Tolmachoff, who did not have exact numbers. More than 20,000 people were reportedly told to evacuate at one point.

READ MORE: Battling 18 blazes, California may face worst fire season yet

Aircraft have made flight after flight, dumping water and bright pink retardant on the blaze to protect Lake Elsinore and other foothill communities near the flames.

The man accused of deliberately starting the fire appeared in court on Friday, but his arraignment was postponed.

Forrest Clark, 51, made several outbursts, claiming his life was being threatened and saying the arson charge against him was a lie. A court commissioner ordered his bail to remain at $1 million.

Elsewhere, the largest wildfire ever recorded in California — the Mendocino Complex — burning north of Sacramento destroyed more than 100 homes. It was nearly 70 per cent contained. On Sunday, it had covered 525 square miles (1,359 square kilometres).

The two-week-old Carr Fire that killed eight people and burned more than 1,000 homes was more than 50 per cent contained on Saturday.

The Associated Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Agassiz man charged in 2014 snake venom death of toddler

Henry Thomas was taking care of the North Vancouver girl the day before she died

End ‘exploitative’ parking fees at Lower Mainland hospitals, group says

HospitalPayParking.ca is criticizing a new contract between health authorities and Impark

B.C.’s best craft distilleries back in Chilliwack for Fraser Valley Distillery Festival

Small-batch spirits, appetizers, live music, candy and more come together for FV Distillery Festival

Classical paired with folk for Chilliwack Metropolitan Orchestra’s winter concert

Chilliwack Metropolitan Orchestra presents Tchaikovsky in America at G.W. Graham theatre

Chilliwack prolific offender wanted yet again

B.C.-wide warrant issued for David Allen Geoghegan

New Canada Food Guide nixes portion sizes, promotes plant-based proteins

Guide no longer lists milk and dairy products as a distinct food group

Cannabis-carrying border crossers could be hit with fines under coming system

Penalties are slated to be in place some time next year

Man accused of threatening to kill ‘as many girls as I see’

Christopher W. Cleary wrote he was angry because he’d never had a girlfriend and wanted to ‘make it right’ with a mass shooting

Canadian talent abound on newly revamped Vancouver Whitecaps squad

Lineup is full of new faces after the organization parted ways with 18 players over the off-season

Fraser Valley Bandits reveal mascot name

Berry the Bandit officially unveiled, makes first public appearance tomorrow

B.C. Green leader calls for long-term legislature financial audit

Andrew Weaver says trust in clerk and sergeant at arms is gone

No charges in fatal police Taser incident in Chilliwack

RCMP watchdog concludes no evidence of excessive or disproportionate force was used by officers

Here’s what the B.C. legislature officers are accused of buying with tax payers’ money

Personal trips, purchases, alcohol and more laid out in 76-page report by Plecas

Alberta youth charged over theft of $17,000 in snow equipment at B.C. ski resort

Alberta RCMP recovered $17,000 in skis/snowboards believed stolen from Fernie Alpine Resort Saturday

Most Read