Mendocino Fire Burns 300,000 Acres, Firefighters Gain Ground
Although by Aug. 8, 7.00 a.m. the Mendocino Complex Fire in Northern California had burned at least 300,086 acres, firefighters had brought it to 47 percent containment, up from 34 percent the night before, according to California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire).
Fire officials say they expect to completely extinguish the flames by September. The blaze, which has scorched an area as large as Los Angeles, is currently active in Colusa, Lake, and Mendocino counties.
#CarrFire [update] northwest of Anderson (Shasta County) is now 172,055 acres and 47% contained. Evacuations and road closures in place. Unified Command: @CALFIRESHU, Redding City Fire and Whiskeytown National Park. https://t.co/QmhauhZj9m pic.twitter.com/OKs4HQTtW8
— CAL FIRE (@CAL_FIRE) August 8, 2018
The Mendocino Complex Fire, first reported on July 27, became the largest fire in California history on Aug. 6. No one has died, but two firefighters have been injured while on duty.
The blaze consists of two separate wildfires that started some miles apart—the larger Ranch Fire and the smaller River Fire. More than 4,000 firefighters continue to battle the two fires, which continue to threaten 10,300 structures, and have already destroyed 143 structures.
(The above live map, from National Interagency Fire Center, shows actively burning areas in red. Orange circles have burned in the past 12-24 hours, and yellow circles in have burned in the past 48 hours. Yellow areas show the perimeter of the fires.)
Firefighters have been working to stop the Ranch Fire, which has been burning actively, from reaching surrounding communities at the southern areas of the Mendocino National Forest, about 161 k.m. (100 miles) north of San Francisco.
Cal Fire said firefighters have made progress on the smaller River Fire, which had no overnight movement. As of Aug. 8, 7 a.m. it was at 81 percent containment.
The Mendocino Complex is one of 17 major fires burning in California that have destroyed more than 1,500 structures and displaced tens of thousands of people.
U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross on Aug. 8 directed federal agencies to use any water that was needed to “protect life and property” threatened by California wildfires.
With reporting from Reuters