In California more than a thousand firefighters are battling to keep a raging Southern California forest fire from creeping into foothill neighborhoods Friday – and to do so before blustery winds are expected to return.
According to Fox News, on Thursday Governor Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency for Orange and Riverside counties from the fire that carved along the ridges of the Cleveland National Forest.
The blaze, believed to have been caused by arson, burned south of Los Angeles, gaining new strength Thursday afternoon, coming within yards of homes.
Sixteen square miles of timber and brush had burned by Friday, with only five percent contained. More than 20,000 people have been evacuated.
Aircraft dumped loads of red fire retardant. Homeowners sprayed their houses with water from garden hoses. Thousands of homes were threatened by the fire in the foothills above Lake Elsinore.
A man living in Holy Jim Canyon in the forest is scheduled for a court hearing Friday. He is charged with deliberately setting the fire. That man, Forrest Clark, 51, is charged with arson and other crimes. He could face life in prison if convicted.
As the flames raged toward foothill homes, some residents ignored the evacuation orders and chose to stay, spraying their roofs down with garden hoses. One of the, Joe Rodriguez, 38, used a power washer.
“Until this thing is barking at my door, I’m going to stick with it,” he said.
Please pray for the people caught in harm’s way of the fire. Share your thoughts on our Facebook page.
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