Holy smoke! Dramatic footage captures moment aircraft douses California wildfire

Firefighters monitor a backfire as they battle the Medocino Complex fire on Tuesday near Lodoga Calif

Firefighters monitor a backfire as they battle the Medocino Complex fire on Tuesday near Lodoga Calif

About 100 miles (160 km) southwest of the Carr Fire, almost 4,000 firefighters are battling the Mendocino Complex Fire, which has burned 307,000 acres (124,240 hectares) to become the largest fire on record in California. Inmate firefighters also typically have their sentences reduced for every day spent fighting fires.

Two firefighters were treated for heat-related injuries Monday.

They do similar work to any firefighter, working long hours and sleeping in camps with other inmates.

New evacuations were ordered Wednesday.

Holy Jim Volunteer Fire Department Chief Mike Milligan, 71, says he's known the arson suspect, Forrest Gordon Clark, for decades and has long warned that he posed a danger to the community.

And another shows a helicopter flying low over the flames to make a water drop.

Although it's not the largest burning in the state, the Holy Fire has raised concerns about its effect on residential communities, including Lake Elsinore. "I was asleep. I had two earplugs in".

Firefighters in California said on Wednesday that they are making good progress battling the state's largest-ever wildfire but didn't expect to have it fully under control until September.

Forrest Clark, the man who allegedly started the Holy Fire, pushed back against the claims before he was arrested.

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Clark refused to leave his jail cell Thursday, so his arraignment was postponed until Friday.

High temperatures were expected to worsen conditions and "increase the likelihood of extreme fire behavior as well as heat illness issues for the firefighters and the public", it said.

A fire that broke out off Highway 299 in eastern Shasta County in the Fall River Mills region was spreading at a "critical rate" and forcing road closures in the area Thursday afternoon, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The National Weather Service posted a map on its San Diego office's Twitter account Friday, explaining that the smoke has traveled more than 3,000 miles across the country.

Before it began, Clark reportedly sent an email to a neighbor that said, "This place will burn".

Clark spoke to a stringer photographer with OnScene outside his cabin, insisting he had nothing to do with the fire. But he did skewer "radical environmentalists" for opposing forest management efforts, which include tactics like prescribed burns, forest thinning and logging to clear overgrown forests of excess vegetation and dead trees.

Susan Schroeder, spokeswoman for the Orange County district attorney's office, said her office would "bring him to justice for these awful crimes".

The phone numbers for residents to call for information on the Holy Fire have changed, according to CalFire.

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

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