Forrest Gordon Clark, 51, was arrested late Tuesday on suspicion of setting of California’s Sacred Fire and making criminal threats.
(Orange County Sheriff’s Department)
The defendant is charged with deliberately starting from Southern California Sacred Fire — which began Monday and is spread over more than 19,000 acres — called his arson charge of a “lie”, reports said Friday.
Forrest Gordon Clark, 51, was arrested late Tuesday and appeared in court Friday, but his arraignment was postponed.
“It is a lie,” Clark said, when Orange County Superior Court Commissioner Vickie Hix talked about the criminal charges, the Orange County Register reported.
They reminded him that “these are just allegations.”
Clark allegedly made several outbursts and claimed that his life was threatened.
A judge ordered his bail to remain at $1 million.
A firefighter hoses down hot spots caused by a wildfire Friday, Aug. 10, 2018, in Lake Elsinore, Calif.
“I can pay for that right away?” asked Clark, who could face life in prison if convicted.
The Holy Fire — the name for the Holy Jim Canyon, where it started Monday — has almost doubled in size during the night of Thursday and Friday.
“We have to deal with steep slopes, dry fuel, and wind in the area of” Thanh Nguyen, public information officer with SoCal Team 1, responsible for the communication of the Holy Fire, told the Register. “That all contributes to fire behavior.”
Aircraft have been making flight after flight, the dumping of water and light pink retardant to protect Lake Elsinore and the other foot communities as the fire sweeps through the dense, bone-dry brush of the Cleveland National Forest.
The fire had destroyed at least 12 structures of Friday, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported.
“The operations in the air his relentless. … When we fall so many liters of water, we do it to overwhelm the heat, the coolness of the water.”
– Thanh Nguyen, public information officer
But the firefighters also made progress, with containment doubling from 5 to 10 percent.
“The operations in the air, relentless,” Nguyen told the Union-Tribune. “When we drop of so many liters of water, we do it to overwhelm the heat, the coolness of the water.”
Some slopes were not to burn under the watchful eye of the fire department as a way to use less fuel and make it harder for the flames to jump roads, in communities, as the winds pick up again.
Although the fire burned a dozen forest huts early on, only one house was lost Thursday as fire crews managed to rescue from the flames that stalked the hill and came up on the meter.
Lake Elsinore, about 70 miles southeast of Los Angeles.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Amy’s Place is a news editor and reporter for Fox News.