Orange County

Fire crews battle mountain area fires

SMOKE hangs heavy over the Cleveland National Forest fire on Wednesday (OCFA photo).

UPDATE: Forrest Gordon Clark, 51, of Trabuco Canyon was charged and arraigned Thursday in connection with the Trabuco Canyon fire which has damaged or destroyed at least 14 buildings.

According to the Orange County District Attorney’s office, Clark faces one felony count each of aggravated arson of five or more inhabited structures, arson of inhabited property, arson of forest, criminal threats, two felony counts of resisting and deterring an executive officer and a sentencing enhancement for arson burning multiple structures.

If convicted on all counts, Clark faces a maximum sentence of life in state prison.

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Haze and smoke are drifting over many areas of Orange County as firefighters battle blazes in the Cleveland National Forest and other mountainous areas such as Trabuco Canyon and Holy Jim Canyon.

FORREST GORDON CLARK (OCSD photo).

An arrest has been made in connection with the Holy Jim fire. Forrest Gordon Clark, 51, was booked into Orange County Jail on Wednesday on two counts of felony arson, one count of felony threat to terrorize, and one count of misdemeanor resisting arrest.

The Orange County Fire Authority along with state and federal units are working to bring the fires under control despite heat passing 90 degrees and extremely dry conditions. Some OCFA units are working on northern California blazes as well, as are other Orange County departments.

Evacuations were ordered for several areas, including Highway 74 east of Caspers Park.

An emergency small animal shelter has been established by OC Animal Care at Riding Park, 30753 La Pata in San Juan Capistrano. Large and small animals are accepted. Owners are asked to bring photo identification, vet and vaccination records, special food and medication.

Livestock are being accepted at Elsinore High School.

For more information on the fires, call (714) 628-7085.

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