Visualizing The Size Of California's Largest-Ever Fire

An estimated 700 firefighters were battling the blaze. Some of the orders were lifted on Saturday morning, including for Horsethief, McVicker and Rice canyons.

The Holy Fire, which started started in the Holy Jim Canyon area, has been burning since Monday, with more than 600 firefighters assigned to fight it.

He was scheduled to appear in court that day, but refused to leave his cell. Twelve structures have been confirmed destroyed in the fire so far.

His bail was set at $1 million and Clark offered to pay the amount on the spot. "This should be called the Holy Hell Fire".

The fire near Lake Elsinore is devouring brushy foothills, ridgetops and canyons.

However, evacuations were ordered for communities near a new fire in the Fall River Mills area, about 112 kilometres northeast of Redding.

"I turned to him and said, 'Let's go, '" Pritchett said.

Here, you can see the vast swaths of burned vegetation underneath plumes of smoke from the Mendocino Complex Fire.

The charges being leveled against Clark carry a maximum sentence of life in prison, said Susan Schroeder of the Orange County District Attorney's Office.

The state's largest wildfire in history has drawn a contingent to battle what is actually two fires burning so closely together that they're being attacked as one.

Clark has been charged with one felony count each of aggravated arson damaging at least five inhabited structures, arson of inhabited property, arson of forest and criminal threats and two misdemeanor counts of resisting arrest.

Officials say that fire is only 5% contained as temperatures continue to stay above 90F (32C). It was 51 percent contained with firefighters struggling in steep terrain to control it, CalFire said.

These hot and windy conditions can create extreme fire behaviour, as well as increasing dangers for those tackling the blaze.

Clark was placed on what's known as a "5150 hold", meaning he was placed in custody for 72 hours to evaluate his mental health, but social workers deemed him eligible to release three days later, Braun said.

Crews continued aerial and ground firefighting efforts Wednesday, with 16 air tankers, 10 helicopters and additional fixed-wing aircraft assisting ground crews, who were working to build bulldozer lines, authorities said. The fire more than 100 miles (160 kilometers) north of Sacramento has destroyed more than 100 homes and blackened an area about the size of Los Angeles.

About 100 miles southwest of the Carr Fire, almost 4,000 firefighters are battling the Mendocino Complex Fire, which has burned 307,000 acres in three counties north of San Francisco, CalFire said.

King Bass, 6, left, sits and watches the Holy Fire burn from top of his parents' auto as his sister Princess, 5, rests her head on his shoulder Thursday in Lake Elsinore.

  • Rogelio Becker