11 killed after twin fires unite to form California’s largest wildfire

Marsha Scott
August 8, 2018

The record for the largest wildfire in California history fell on Monday after just eight months as the Mendocino Complex Fire passed the Thomas Fire, from last December, to set the new mark for most acres burned.

The Ranch Fire has scorched 225,001 acres (91,055 hectares) to date and is just 21 percent contained, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire). The fire was more than 40 percent contained Sunday.

Cal Fire officials said they were nervous because the state has seen so much destruction from fires when it's only the first week of August, reports CBS San Francisco.

Meanwhile, new evacuations were ordered Saturday near twin fires burning in Mendocino and Lake counties.

Nine people have died as a result of other fires in the state since July, however. "This year's changing weather pattern is leading to more severe and destructive wildfires".

In California, more than 14,000 firefighters are trying to contain large wildfires that have already destroyed more than 470,000 acres and 11,000 homes.

Before 2000, such monstrously large fires occurred far less frequently, according to state records. This puts them at the number two spot on the list of largest wildfires in state history.

Firefighters predict they'll fully contain the Mendocino Complex fire by August 15.

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

"California wildfires are being magnified & made so much worse by the bad environmental laws which aren't allowing massive amounts of readily available water to be properly utilized", Trump said. In addition, "the rates of mortality from fire, insects, and disease are about three times as high on national forest lands as they are on private lands regulated under California's strict environmental laws", he said.

"It's the embers, not the fire itself, that destroy most homes", said Steve Conboy, a construction expert whose company develops fire-resistant chemicals to apply to wood.

Crews battling the Mendocino Complex on Monday were focusing on keeping flames from breaking through fire lines on a ridge above the foothill communities of Nice, Lucerne, Glen Haven, and Clearlake Oaks, said Tricia Austin, a spokeswoman for Cal Fire.

"There were no firefighters here whatsoever until I called 911 and they sent some firefighters because they were all back in the valley paying attention to other fires", said Easter.

The Department of Defense has also provided five aircraft to aid in fighting the wildfires, four C-130 cargo planes outfitted with Modular Airborne Fire Fighting Systems and an RC-26 surveillance plane, being used to monitor and map wildfires, Manning said.

He said the tweets, after Trump on Sunday approved a federal disaster declaration requested by Governor Jerry Brown for the fires, sparked a barrage of media queries to CalFire.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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