Politics

Suspected arsonist behind one of California’s wildfires is a right-wing conspiracy aficionado

ForrestClark.jpg
Clark walking around before being arrested, accusing firemen of stealing his money

The dangers of right-wing paranoia and rhetoric are completely in display in Corona, California, where a right-wing conspiracy theorist is alleged to have started an enormous fire that has burned down more than 18,000 acres over the last four days. The Holy Fire arson suspect, 51-year-old Forrest Gordon Clark, is alleged to have set the fire in the Cleveland National Forest area of Orange County, south of Los Angeles.

CORONA, CA - AUGUST 09: People watch as the Holy Fire burns in Cleveland National Forest on August 9, 2018 in Corona, California. The fire continues to grow amidst a heat wave and has now burned 10,236 acres while remaining just five percent contained. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

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. […]

Clark apparently has a history of erratic behavior. Last month, he was placed on a psychiatric hold. Volunteer Fire Chief Mike Milligan, who also has a cabin in the area, says every resident in the canyon is afraid of him.

JJ MacNab is an anti-government extremism expert who has written books on the subject. She took to Twitter to give a rundown on what kinds of preoccupations Mr. Clark seems to have had, based on his social media feeds.


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