Massive wildfire becomes largest in California history, in pictures

08 August, 2018, 00:37 | Author: Carlos George
  • A firefighter douses flames while battling the Ranch Fire tears down New Long Valley Rd near Clearlake Oaks on Saturday

Two fires roaring through northern California have grown so rapidly that they are now the largest ever to ravage the state, authorities said.

The two fires burning a few miles apart and known as the Mendocino Complex are being treated as one incident. When fires burn in an area that happens to be without ponds, lakes or rivers, state officials typically call in more planes to ferry in water, McLean said.

The fire, which also includes the Ranch and River fires, was only 30 percent contained Monday evening.

This fire has killed two people and injured 11 others. Officials said it killed a Pacific Gas and Electric Co. employee Saturday in the Whiskeytown National Recreation Area, bringing the death toll to seven.

The disaster declaration that Trump approved for California on Sunday makes available federal funding to state, local and tribal governments "on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work and the fix or replacement of facilities damaged by the wildfires and high winds in Shasta County".

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

Trump's tweet went on: "Must also tree clear to stop fire spreading!"

While containment grew to 47 percent, burned acreage grew over the weekend, as well, now sitting at 164,413 acres burned.

"It's pretty doggone hot and dry and it's going to stay that way", Hurley said early Monday.

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On Sunday, 140 fire managers and specialists from Australia and New Zealand underwent special training and were outfitted with safety gear at the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, Idaho, before being deployed to battle fires in the Pacific Northwest and California.

Local officials have made clear they have not had any difficulty accessing enough water to fight the fires.

Cal Fire spokesman Scott McLean said more than 14,000 firefighters are battling more than a dozen major blazes throughout California.

Both fires began on July 27.

California Governor Jerry Brown said around 10,000 people had been evacuated in the areas surrounding the Mendocino Complex fire, which has destroyed 100 structures and threatens approximately 10,000 more.

Wildfires tearing through trees and brush, rampaging up hillsides and incinerating neighbourhoods: The place-names change but the devastation is showing signs of becoming the new normal in California. Another 9,000 buildings are threatened.

Firefighters were battling the Mendocino Complex blaze supported by helicopters and airplanes - including two big DC-10s and a 747 jumbo jet - that doused the flames with water.

The Ferguson Fire near Yosemite National Park has claimed two lives and closed the park indefinitely.

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