Holy Fire suspect Forrest Gordon Clark charged with felony arson

Posted at 12:29 PM, Aug 09, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-09 15:29:19-04

(KGTV) - A man was charged Thursday with multiple felony counts in connection with the Holy Fire, which has burned over 9,000 acres in Orange and Riverside counties.

The Orange County District Attorney’s Office said 51-year-old Forrest Gordon Clark faces the following charges: 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.

Clark’s bail was set at $1 million.

Prosecutors said Clark faces a maximum sentence of life in prison if he’s convicted.


Clark was scheduled to be arraigned Thursday morning, but ABC7 in Los Angeles reported that it was delayed because he reportedly refused to leave his jail cell.

As of Thursday, the Holy Fire has burned 9,164 acres and is 5 percent contained. The fire has destroyed at least 14 structures, according to authorities.

Authorities accused Clark of igniting the blaze in Trabuco Canyon, an Orange County community located in the Cleveland National Forest, on Monday afternoon.

Clark was taken into custody Wednesday, but authorities did not immediately provide details on what led to his arrest.

According to the Orange County Register, Clark allegedly sent threatening emails to a volunteer fire chief last week, including one that included a statement of “this place will burn down.”