Published: Wed, August 08, 2018
World News | By Sandy Lane

Mendocino Complex becomes largest wildfire in California history: state officials

Mendocino Complex becomes largest wildfire in California history: state officials

While President Donald Trump rolls back environmental regulations aimed at curbing the climate crisis and doubles down on ignorant right-wing talking points about the wildfires ravaging California, climate scientists continue to raise alarm as the Mendocino Complex blaze has become the largest recorded in state history.

The River Fire of the Mendocino Complex is 78 percent contained, having burned 48,920 acres - but its partner blaze the Ranch Fire has grown to 241,772 acres and is just 20 percent contained.

California's biggest wildfire on record was expected to burn for the rest of the month, fire officials said on Tuesday, as hot and windy conditions challenged thousands of fire crews battling eight major blazes burning out of control across the state.

It was the second fire to break records in the fire-prone, most populous USA state in as many years, following the Thomas Fire in December 2017, which destroyed 281,893 acres.

One of the wildfires, the "Carr fire" near Redding, California, on the Sacramento River about 120 miles south of the OR border, has claimed seven lives, destroyed more than 1,000 homes and scarred more than 163,200 acres, according to CAL FIRE.

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

"It is extremely fast, extremely aggressive, extremely unsafe", McLean continued.

Two helicopters began dumping water, and several engines raced from the next valley, where the fire had jumped the line.

The 200 troops, plus command and support staff, will get one day of classroom training from firefighters at JBLM this week and then two more days of field training once it's decided which of the 18 major wildfires burning across California they will be asked to help contain. Burning through nearly 160,000 acres, it was 47% contained by late Monday. Officials say that it threatens 11,300 buildings.

Map of Mendocino Complex Fire as of August 7, 2018.

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State authorities responded by saying California's water supply was not "diverted" anywhere.

The fire has razed more than 1,600 buildings, including some 1,000 homes, state officials say. Resources from Dallas Fire-Rescue and the Lewisville, Little Elm and Lake Cities fire departments will also be going to assist as a task force.

In his tweet, Trump claimed that environmental laws are magnifying California wildfires by "diverting" water to the Pacific Ocean. Steele's district includes the towns that still have fire above them, and in some places, creeping down the ridge.

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 (D) said Saturday in a news conference about the fires, adding that the disasters offer a chance for people to overcome ideological divisions.

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