Mendocino Complex Fire Now Fourth Largest in California History

If the Mendocino Complex Fire continues to grow, it could become the largest wildfire the state has seen in nine decades, surpassing the Thomas Fire, which burned through almost 282,000 acres of land in December 2017 in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties.

The fast-moving inferno, sparked Friday, July 27 in Northern California, has now scorched 290,692 acres and is just 34% contained, according to California's Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire).

Authorities say that the fires are only 30% contained and may not be fully under control for at least another week.

It is one of two major wildfires in California, the other one being the Carr fire, about 260km north of state capital Sacramento.

The fires have spread rapidly in recent days to burn 283,800 acres of land - an area nearly the size of Los Angeles.

Cal Fire deputy chief Scott McLean described the wildfires as "extremely fast, extremely aggressive [and] extremely dangerous".

Various parts of Lake, Mendocino and Colusa counties remain under evacuation orders and advisories, and the region continues to see road closures, notably along Highways 20 and 29.

Monday, she was glad she didn't, because she was able to call for help, when flying embers caught the house across from her on fire, then the hill behind her house.

The Ranch Fire is the larger of the two fires, having consumed more than 225,000 acres so far.

A helicopter makes a water drop on windswept flames from the River Fire as it again threatens the town of Lakeport on August 3, 2018.


The Mendocino Complex fire has surpassed the size of the Thomas fire to become the largest fire in Californian history.

President Trump claimed in a tweet that California's wildfires are "made so much worse by the bad environmental laws" which prevent firefighters from accessing water.

Hotter weather attributed to climate change is drying out vegetation, creating more intense fires that spread quickly from rural areas to city subdivisions, climate and fire experts say.

The strike team has been prepping structures ahead of the fast-moving fire, making homes more defensible and increasing the chances of saving the residences.

"Unfortunately, they're not going to get a break anytime soon", Brian Hurley, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service's Weather Prediction Center, said in an interview on Monday.

He then claimed that the water is "being diverted into the Pacific Ocean".

What are firefighters doing to stop the Mendocino Complex Fire?

Firefighting aircraft can dip in and out of cattle ponds or other small bodies of water to scoop up water for dropping and spraying on flames. Jerry Brown told reporters Saturday.

"There's nothing that California water policy has done that makes these fires worse or more hard to fight", Gleick said.


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