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Judge orders third psychiatric evaluation for Holy fire arson suspect

Judge orders third psychiatric evaluation for Holy fire arson suspect
Forrest Gordon Clark, 51, has been charged with multiple counts of arson in connection with the Holy fire. (Orange County Sheriff's Department)

An Orange County superior court judge Wednesday ordered a third psychiatric evaluation for the man accused of setting the nearly 23,000-acre Holy fire that tore through Orange and Riverside counties.

Forrest Gordon Clark, 51, has been charged with multiple counts of arson in connection with the fire. Psychiatric evaluations were first ordered for Clark after a judge questioned his mental competency in August, the Orange County district attorney’s office said.

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Wednesday afternoon, the judge ordered a third doctor to evaluate Clark due to a conflict in opinion between the previous two doctors. Another mental-health competency hearing has been set for Nov. 28, officials said.

Clark gave a rambling interview to a television reporter over the summer, claiming to know nothing about how the fire started.

His Facebook page is littered with links to popular conspiracy theories involving the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks; a mass shooting last year that left dozens dead in Las Vegas; and “QAnon,” whose followers believe a secretive government source nicknamed “Q” has been leaking information that proves President Trump’s election was part of a broader effort to take down an international criminal cabal involving Hillary Clinton and others.

The movement gained media attention in recent months after Trump supporters were seen holding “Q” signs at some of the president’s rallies.

In postings published in mid-July, Clark also complained about a neighbor in Trabuco Canyon whom he accused of using drugs and inviting gang members into the neighborhood. Clark also accused the man of stealing something from his cabin, according to the post.

The Holy fire, which started Aug. 6 near Trabuco Canyon, burned 23,136 acres,destroyed 18 homes and prompted the evacuation of hundreds of others.

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