Monday, 10 December, 2018

Largest wildfire in California history still growing

A firefighter douses flames while battling the Ranch Fire tears down New Long Valley Rd near Clearlake Oaks on Saturday California's Carr Fire Was Bad. The Mendocino Complex Fire Is Worse
Ellis Copeland | 07 August, 2018, 22:14

More than 14,000 firefighters and hundreds of U.S. army personnel are trying to contain the more than a dozen major fires burning throughout the state.

Since being ignited on 27 July they have devastated 283,000 acres (443.4 square miles). "We have strong, erratic winds and what that's doing is blowing embers and it's spreading the fire", Capt. Thanh Nguyen, a spokesman for a Southern California fire department who's acting as spokesman for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, or Cal Fire, said Monday.

Map showing the perimeter, in red, of the Mendocino Complex of Fires at 7 p.m. MDT, August 5, 2018.

A new fire erupted Monday in Orange County, south of Los Angeles, and prompted the evacuation of two canyons and some campgrounds as it expanded into the Cleveland National Forest. Numerous largest fires in state history were caused by humans. The gap between the two fires is now less than 3km. It was listed as the sixth most-destructive in state history, having destroyed more than 1,600 structures, according to Cal Fire. One, the Carr Fire, was still active in Shasta County.

That blaze has killed two firefighters and five civilians and destroyed more than 1,000 homes.

Three of the largest wildfires in California's history have occurred in the past 12 months.

NOAH BERGER via Getty Images The Ranch Fire, part of the Mendocino Complex Fire, crests a ridge as Battalion Chief Matt Sully directs firefighting operations on High Valley Rd. near Clearlake Oaks, California, on Sunday.

The fire comes as California firefighters continue to struggle to contain the deadly Carr Fire to the north of the Mendocino Fires. Fueled by high temperatures, low humidity and wind, the fire has destroyed almost 170 homes and other structures, according to The Washington Post.

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The wildfires across the West have been fueled this year by drought conditions and unusual three-digit temperatures.

The Carr Fire fire has been blamed on the "mechanical failure of a vehicle", which caused sparks to fly in the extremely dry conditions.

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.

President Donald Trump on Monday again falsely stated that the California government is diverting river water into the Pacific Ocean that could be used to fight forest fires, but he also signaled he will fast-track federal help.

Aircraft are dropping retardant across ridgelines to keep fire from racing down hillsides toward residential communities.

Gerst's ESA biography shows he once worked as a volunteer firefighter.

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

What was California's second-largest fire?

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