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

Revelstoke Forestry Museum’s River Side Forest Walk ready for exploring

The trail is almost done but the interpretive signs aren’t up yet

Phone scam uses false RCMP ID on call display

North Okanagan RCMP say there are applications that allow people to change, hide call display info

Sister of plane crash victim that went missing near Revelstoke starting support network

Tammy Neron wants to help families who are searching for missing people

Meet the new reporter at Revestoke Review

Liam Harrap comes to us from Edson, Alta.

Enrolment up in Revelstoke School District

107 Kindergarten kids this year compared to 70-85 in previous years

VIDEO: Rare close encounter with whale pod spotted off B.C. waters

Pod of southern resident orca whales breach within arms length of whale watchers

Dead B.C. motorcyclist was member of group that raced down mountain road

Some group members record their rides on Strathcona Parkway and post times to page

Indigenous athletes in spotlight at BC Sports Hall of Fame

New gallery to feature Carey Price, Kaila Mussel and Richard Peter

Okanagan College student population climbs

Enrolment up nearly 14 per cent

B.C. couple who went missing on flight from Edmonton named by family

Family released a statement Wednesday saying they’re still intent on finding the two-seater plane

Coldstream supports Okanagan College Campus residence project

Project would see a 100-bed residence on the Vernon campus in Coldstream

VIDEO: A close look at what you were breathing during the B.C. wildfire season

Electron microscope images show soot and tar particles generated by worst B.C. fire season

Okanagan show supports youth mental health, suicide prevention

Robb Nash will be performing Oct. 2 and 3 at the Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre

B.C. woman donates $250,000 to ovarian cancer research for friends

Two of Patty Pitts’s friends passed away from the disease within a year

Most Read