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

Frederick Owens
August 7, 2018

The table released by CAL FIRE on August 4, 2018 does not include the Mendocino Complex, since it is still very actively growing.

At more than 290,692 acres, the fire spans more than 454.2 square miles.

California fire officials said Monday that the two fires about 100 miles north of San Francisco were 30 percent contained and have scorched 428 square miles.

To understand the scale of these fires, consider that the smallest among them, 2014's Happy Camp Complex Fire, burned almost 210 square miles.

Gleick continued: "California's forests are burning because of past severe drought and current extreme temperatures and weather, worsened by human-caused climate change, which you think, in your fantasy world, doesn't exist".

More than 129 million trees have died since 2010 in California, a problem that state officials trace back to climate change. It doesn't mean that the fires have necessarily joined - and in the case of the Mendocino Complex Fire, the River Fire and the Ranch Fire have yet to meet.

California's biggest wildfire on record is expected to burn for the rest of the month, fire officials said on Tuesday.

More than 14,000 firefighters are battling the blazes across the state of California.

California has been ravaged by destructive and deadly wildfires burning up and down the state.

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In this file photo taken on August 04, 2018 Resident Lane Lawder carries a water bucket while fighting to save his home from the Ranch Fire burning down New Long Valley Rd near Clearlake Oaks, California.

Seventy-five homes and 68 other structures have been destroyed by the fire so far.

Firefighters had managed to contain 45 percent of the Carr blaze by Monday morning, and authorities were letting some evacuees return. Conservatives have blamed poor environmentalist policies over the last four decades for exacerbating wildfires.

Experts have said this has meant fires spreading more quickly from rural areas to urban developments.

"We are committed to continuing to do everything we can to provide the firefighters, aircraft, engines, and other wildfire suppression assets that incident commanders need to protect lives, property, and valuable natural and cultural resources", said Dan Smith, chairman of NMAC.

The Pentagon announced Monday that it will send about 200 soldiers from Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington state to help with the firefighting efforts.

Gerst's ESA biography shows he once worked as a volunteer firefighter.

The Mendocino Complex fire has surpassed the size of the Thomas fire to become the largest fire in Californian history.

But that's "a totally separate issue" from fire management, said William Stewart, a forestry specialist at the University of California at Berkeley.

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