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An inversion layer over the fire lifted, causing it to pick up and tear through intense fuels, including drought-stricken trees further destroyed by bark beetles, and into drainage areas in the rugged terrain, said Ruggiero, who added that “the fire has intensified tremendously.”

As the Paradise fire — now 4,821 acres — made a downhill run, crossing the middle fork of the Kaweah River and the Generals Highway, employees were evacuated Tuesday from the Ash Mountain Headquarters Complex and nearby housing areas, including the community of Sycamore within the park, officials said.

Flames were lapping about a mile from the famed Giant Forest, the largest concentration of towering giant sequoias in the park and home to the 275-foot General Sherman tree — considered the world’s largest tree by volume, Ruggiero said.

The fires were nearer to the grove, but not yet an “imminent threat,” he said.

—Los Angeles Times

Haitian prosecutor wants prime minister — who fired him the day before — charged in President Moïse’s killing

The criminal investigation into the assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse took a surreal turn Tuesday when Port-au-Prince’s top prosecutor asked the investigative judge to charge Prime Minister Ariel Henry in connection with the July 7 slaying.

Chief Prosecutor Bedford Claude made the request in a two-page order to Judge Garry Orelien. He asked the judge to bar Henry from leaving the country.


There is just one problem. Claude had already been fired — by the prime minister — when he sent the request, according to a memo from the prime minister’s office.

In the letter dated Monday, Henry told Claude that he had been discharged for “serious administrative infractions.” That same day, Henry also fired Claude’s boss, Justice Minister Rockefeller Vincent, and a key adviser to the late president, Renald Luberice. Luberice was secretary general of the Council of Ministers, the equivalent of a Cabinet. Lubérice, Vincent and Claude have over the past week or so led a campaign by Moïse holdovers against Henry, even demanding his resignation.

Sonel Jean-Francois, a lawyer and former investigative judge, said there is no legal justification for what Claude attempted to do, including asking immigration to block Henry from leaving the country. A Haitian prosecutor must stand down once a case has been transferred over to an investigative judge, who is the only one authorized to launch any probe.

“He cannot pose any act, any investigation, as it relates to this,” Jean-Francois said. “It’s a (provision) in the criminal code that all jurists are aware of.”

Under Haitian law, Claude also cannot issue any mandates against a government minister without the authorization of a president, Jean-Francois said. “There is nothing legal about what he has done.”

—Miami Herald