Powering inferno at the drive-in
MORE than 1000 firefighters have battled to stop a growing southern California forest fire reaching homes in the foothills a day after flames roared to new ferocity and came within meters of properties.
Governor Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency for Orange and Riverside counties as the fire carved its way along ridges in the Cleveland National Forest.
Aircraft dropped fire retardant and homeowners sprayed their houses with water from garden hoses as the blaze south of Los Angeles gained strength propelled by 30km/h gusts.
Hundreds more firefighters joined the effort, bringing the total to 1200. The fire, one of nearly 20 blazes across the State that have been burning for weeks, has chewed through 72sqkm of dense shrub.
A resident of the small community of Holy Jim Canyon was scheduled to appear in court charged with deliberately lighting the Holy fire, named for the canyon where it started.
Forrest Clark, 51, is accused of arson.
Front row: Siblings King and Princess Bass watch the Holy fire burn from the top of their parents' car Picture: AP