Published: Tue, August 07, 2018
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

California's Carr Fire Was Bad. The Mendocino Complex Fire Is Worse

California's Carr Fire Was Bad. The Mendocino Complex Fire Is Worse

"Yes, we have plenty of water", CalFire Chief Scott McLean said by telephone, adding that the two largest blazes in California this week - the Carr Fire and the Mendocino Complex Fire - were each ringed by at least three major reservoirs.

Nine people have been killed so far, including four firefighters.

Two small blazes burning through Northern California have grown at breathtaking speed to form a massive inferno, quickly becoming the largest active wildfire in the state. Dry, hot winds fueled both blazes, which have collectively charred almost 400 square miles (1,036 square kilometers) of brush and timber.

The Mendocino fires are spreading so far they're now the biggest in the region's history.

The Ranch Fire was just 22 percent contained and the River Fire was 50 percent contained.

Crews battling the Mendocino Complex on Monday were focussing 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.

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection has been puzzled by the claims from the president, according to Fox News.

The Ferguson Fire, which has claimed the lives of two firefighters, has burned over 91,000 acres, while the Cranston Fire has burned over 13,000 acres.

Both fires began on July 27.

The Australian crews were first sent to Boise, Idaho, for training at the National Interagency Fire Centre; and joined U.S. and Canadian firefighters in the field on Tuesday. The Thomas Fire scorched a much more densely populated area, burning through 1,063 structures and damaging 280 more.

On Sunday, the National Park Service announced that parts of Yosemite National Park will remain closed indefinitely because of growing fires in areas near and on the park. The Federal Coordinating Officer for recovery operations in the affected area will be named will also have authority to recommend additional Major Disaster area designations for other counties including Lake, Mendocino and Napa if warranted by Federal Emergency Management damage assessments. Fueled by low humidity, triple-digit temperatures and winds blowing across wide swaths of tinder-dry vegetation, the conflagration has expanded to three counties, surrounded an entire river and parts of neighboring reservoirs, and destroyed and damaged almost 170 homes and other structures.

Environmentalists and some politicians say the uptick in the intensity of the state's wildfire season may be linked in part to climate change.

Firefighters are continuing to battle the rapidly-advancing blaze that is considered to be around 30 percent contained as of Monday night.

Experts say 2018 has the worst start to the fire season in 10 years - partly due to the 2012-2017 drought that killed off large amounts of vegetation.

Hurley said some temperatures could reach 43 C in Northern California over the next few days with 24 km/h winds fanning the flames. "If we continue to increase greenhouse gases and if we continue to have warming, this is just a stepping stone", MacDonald says.

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