Forrest Gordon Clark, 51, is charged with two counts of arson and other crimes.
The man charged for starting a Southern California blaze that forced the evacuation of 20,000 residents sent a text to a volunteer fire chief two weeks ago saying, "The place is going to burn," the chief said Thursday.
The Holy Fire began in Monday in the Cleveland National Forest's Holy Jim Canyon and has so far destroyed a dozen structures, according to fire authorities.
Holy Jim Volunteer Fire Department Chief Mike Milligan, 71, says he's known the pyromania suspect, Forrest Gordon Clark, for decades and has long warned that he posed a danger to the community.
"I've been trying for years to get someone to pay attention and nobody has really had the opportunity to do that until now," he said.
Milligan said he was so careful of Clark that he avoided altogether going to the area of the remote Orange County canyon where the 51-year-old Clark lives, he said. Nonetheless, Clark came to his home two weeks ago to return article he said he had "borrowed" from the fire department, he said.
"I said 'I want nothing to do with you, Forrest. Just go,'" Milligan said. "He was being gentlemanly in the beginning and turned and then swore at me and turned and left and was quoting the Bible. Later, he came back and told me what a jerk I was and everyone was after him."