Nevada County Strike Team on the Mendocino Complex

Arturo Kim
August 7, 2018

California currently has 21 fires burning, with the Carr Fire near Redding now ranking as the state's 15th largest in wildfire history after burning 154,524 acres, according to Cal Fire.

It's killed seven people, including two firefighters who were helping residents evacuate from the affected area.

Ayeta is the seventh person to die in the destructive fire that has been burning for two weeks near Redding, where armies of firefighters and fleets of aircraft continue battling the enormous blaze about 100 miles (160 kilometers) south of the OR state line. But fierce, hot winds continue to whip flames into a frenzy.

A total of almost 3,900 people were fighting the Mendocino Complex Fire, including crews from Arizona, Washington and Alaska.

In a pair of tweets that puzzled experts, Trump said the wildfires are worsened by "bad environmental laws which aren't allowing massive amount of readily available water to be properly utilized".

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

Crews made progress over the weekend against one of the two blazes in the Mendocino Complex with help from water-dropping aircraft, Cal Fire operations chief Charlie Blankenheim said in a video on Facebook.

The River and Ranch fires had grown to cover about 82,675 hectares by Saturday night, and were considered 32 percent contained, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire).

Reinforcements have been called in to fight 16 large wildfires in California, with the Army sending 200 soldiers to battle the blazes from the air.

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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.

Since being ignited on 27 July they have devastated 283,000 acres (443.4 square miles).

The U.S. Forest Service reported that the fire crossed a highway Sunday evening, forcing crews to retreat from the fire's edge. It has killed two firefighters and five civilians, and has destroyed more than 1,000 homes. Jerry Brown's Presidential Major Disaster Declaration request to help impacted communities in Shasta County, where the Carr Fire destroyed more than 1,000 homes and buildings. Mandatory evacuations are still in place for areas in Lake, Colusa, and Mendocino County. "What seems like we should be in the peak of fire season, historically, is really now the kind of conditions we're seeing really at the beginning", said Pimlott. The blaze was only 30% contained.

With several major wildfires burning across California, officials suggested they would decide where to deploy the extra firefighters once they arrived.

Fire officials have condemned the presidents comments, saying that they are not in fact struggling to source enough water to contain the fires.

But the other one is growing after spreading into the Mendocino National Forest.

"The president has been pretty good on helping us in disasters, so I'm hopeful", said Brown, a Democrat.

"The problem here is he's not acknowledging the role climate change is playing in California's fire problem, and the scale of the problem is far beyond anything he's talking about doing", Westerling says.

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