Milligan said that Clark had recently sent him an email warning, "this place will burn".
He described Clark as an erratic, risky personality he had flagged to state and federal officials repeatedly - once, according to Milligan, even ending one of those emails with a warning, "If you don't do something he's going to kill somebody or burn something down".
Forrest Clark, 51, was supposed to be in court on Thursday, but he refused to go. He is charged with aggravated arson damaging at least five inhabited structures, arson of inhabited property, arson of forest and criminal threats, all felonies, as well as two misdemeanor counts of resisting arrest.
"Arson is a awful crime that destroys dreams", she said in a press conference Wednesday.
The head of the Orange County team fighting the Holy Fire said the blaze had started near Clark's cabin in Jim Canyon.
According to WGN9, Clark told a cameraman he was asleep when the fire started.
Gov. Jerry Brown has declared a state of emergency for Orange and Riverside counties due to the effects of the Holy Fire, allowing the state Office of Emergency Services to provide assistance to the counties. According to Cal Fire, "Fire crews continue working on bringing bring the east edge of the fire back in to the Mendocino National Forest, but obstacles and access still prove to be challenging".
Firefighters planned to work through the night to gain ground against the blaze before the expected Friday afternoon return of blustery winds that might drive the flames to new ferocity.
All schools in the Menifee Unified School District in Riverside County were closed Thursday due to poor air quality caused by the fire, and the campuses will remain shuttered Friday.
Scattered thunderstorms could hit the area as temperatures hover around 91 to 97 degrees, the website said. The fire is burning about an hour east of the ocean near the town of Lake Elsinore.
Two firefighters have been treated for heat-related injuries in the Holy Fire.
Residents are scared and fleeing their homes, he said.
Although the neighborhood is under an evacuation order, the 38-year-old Rodriguez told the San Bernardino Sun that he made a decision to stay to help save his home.
Now one local firefighter says much of the destruction could have been avoided had law enforcement not ignored years of complaints. That blaze had burned burned more than 304,000 acres and injured two firefighters, as of Thursday morning.
The 279-square-mile Carr Fire had already killed two other firefighters, a utility worker along with three members of one family, and has destroyed almost 1,100 homes.
The Thursday morning wreck led to the eighth death connected to the Carr fire, which has proved to be the most lethal of the year. It has killed eight people, including three firefighters, and destroyed nearly 1,100 homes. On July 21, he and Republican Rep. Tom McClintock visited the incident command post for the Ferguson Fire just outside of Yosemite National Park.
That's an assessment climate scientists and fire ecologists agree with, as NPR's Kirk Siegler reports: "People should not take solace that this is the worst it's going to get".