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Man arrested over one of the California wildfires

A man has been arrested on suspicion of arson in connection with one of the fires burning in the US state of California.

Forrest Gordon Clark, 51, has been arrested on suspicion of two counts of felony arson, one count of felony threat to terrorise, and one count of misdemeanour resisting arrest, according to officials at Cleveland National Forest.

The Holy Fire has blackened nearly 10 square miles (6,400 acres) of brush and timber in the national forest, which is south of Los Angeles.

Gordon Clark, 51, has been arrested on suspicion of two counts of felony arson, one count of felony threat to terrorize, and one count of misdemeanor resisting arrest. Pic: Cleveland National Forest, California
Forrest Gordon Clark, 51, has been arrested in connection with the Holy Fire

Several small mountain communities nearby have been evacuated and 385 firefighters, 10 helicopters and seven fixed wing aircraft are trying to fight the blaze.

Around a dozen homes have been destroyed but it is not known how many people are affected.

The fire is just 5% contained, fire authorities have said.

Clark is being held on a $1m (£780,000) bail and is set to appear in court on Thursday.

Firefighters conduct a controlled burn to defend houses against flames from the Ranch fire, as it continues to spreads towards the town of Upper Lake, California on August 2, 2018. - Thousands of firefighters in California made some progress against several large-scale blazes that have turned around 200,000 acres (80,940 hectares) into an ashen wasteland, destroyed expensive homes, and killed eight fire personnel and civilians in the most populous US state. (Photo by Mark RALSTON / AFP) (Photo c
The Ranch Fire is just 46% contained and the weather is not helping firefighters

Meanwhile, a number of other fires continue to burn across the western states of the US, the largest of which is the Mendocino Complex, made up of the River and Ranch fires.

The fires became the largest in the state’s history earlier this week and have now destroyed 470 square miles (more than 300,000 acres).

More than 4,000 firefighters from California, other US states, Australia and New Zealand, are battling the Mendocino Complex, which is around 100 miles north of San Francisco.

The group has made progress over the past 24 hours, with the River Fire now 81% contained.

The Ranch Fire is just 46% contained, however.

But the weather seems to be working against firefighters, with the National Weather Service saying conditions are expected to remain very hot and windy until at least Saturday evening.

A firefighter monitors a back fire while battling the Medocino Complex fire near Lodoga, California
The Mendocino Complex fire is the largest in California’s history

Overall, the Mendocino Complex Fire has destroyed at least 221 structures, 116 of them homes.

More than 10,000 other structures are threatened and fire officials have said the fires may continue burning until September.

Another large fire, the Carr Fire near the town of Redding, is 47% contained.

The fires in California have killed at least nine people, including four firefighters.

There are more than 14,000 firefighters fighting various blazes across the north west of the US, along with thousands of inmates from low security prisons, who are specially trained for the job.

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