Who is the Suspect Accused of Starting the Holy Fire?

posted by December Savage-Brown - 

51-year old Forrest Gordon Clark was recently arrested on Wednesday in connection to the Cleveland National Forest blaze dubbed the Holy Fire. ABC7 reports that Clark has been booked in the Orange County Jail on suspicion of two counts of felony arson, one count of felony threat to terrorize, and one count of misdemeanor resisting arrest. 

The suspect is being held on a $1 million bail and potentially faces life in prison. 

For years, Clark has had a reputation of being a troubled individual in the area where he lives. Neighbors have accused Clark of harassment stating that he predicted the burning of Holy Jim during a rant as he ran around. He has also crafted multiple threatening emails to the volunteer fire chief, Mike Milligan, writing, "This place will burn." 

Of the 14 cabins in the area, Clark's cabin, where he has resided for the past 10 years, is the last one standing amid the blaze.  

“He has issues,” Milligan said. “I hope they get him.”

Along with Clark's neighbors, Milligan himself has been the target of Clark's conspiracies. He believes the volunteer fire chief to have been a drug runner and have the ability to read minds. At one point when deputies tried speaking with Clark, he was seen stripping his clothing completely off. 

On Clark's facebook page where he poses with snakes, there are numerous references to marijuana, rants about his neighbors, and religious imagery. He also has posted photos of his face saying that he has skin cancer.

The OCR reports that Clark has had a long history of personal battles. A man with the same name and birthday was involuntarily held in a mental illness facility during 1996. Sixteen years later in 2012, a restraining order from Mary Masayo Clark was granted against her son, a man with the same name and birthday as Clark. Mary claims her son demanded money from her on multiple occasions. 


“There is no peace in my home when he is here,” Mary wrote in court documents.

Clarks arraignment is set for Thursday, August 9th.

As of 4:21 pm today, the Holy Fire has burned a total of 6,200 acres. 

Fire Races Through Cleveland National Forest Increases to 6,200 Acres
Fire Races Through Cleveland National Forest Increases to 6,200 Acres
About 385 firefighters were battling the blaze. With so many wildfires throughout the state, the firefighting personnel has been spread thin, Bommarito said.

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