Twin fires are second-largest in recorded California history

Frederick Owens
August 7, 2018

The current spate of wildfires happens to be within range of large Northern California lakes and the state's biggest river, McLean said. As Trump alluded to in his tweet, experts have urged state and federal forestry officials to move quickly in clearing swathes of dead forests due to their added fire danger.

The water debate taps into a deep-seeded controversy in California: the balance between letting water flow through streams and redirecting it for agriculture and other uses. The fires are likely to surpass December 2017's Thomas fire - the state's largest wildfire on record - which burned 140 square miles and killed two people.

The Carr Fire has destroyed 1,080 residences, 24 commercial structures and 500 outbuildings.

For the period from January 1 through July 29, 2018, there were 3,770 California wildfires.

The Mendocino Complex fires cover an area 71 percent of the size of Los Angeles.

The Ranch and River fires that make up the Mendocino Complex wildfire had grown to 283,800 acres by Monday evening, Cal Fire said in their latest update.

According to CBS News, there are now at least 18 major wildfires throughout the state of California that have killed nine people.

"It is being diverted into the Pacific Ocean", he added.

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The Carr Fire has been blamed for seven deaths, including a 21-year-old apprentice PG&E lineman Jay Ayeta, whom the company said on Sunday was killed in a vehicle crash as he worked with crews in unsafe terrain.

Officials from the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CalFire) and the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, Idaho, stressed that wild-land blazes are battled primarily by crews hacking away at dry brush with hand tools and bulldozers, not with water. Think of California with plenty of Water - Nice!

It says 59-year-old Steven Bell, 29-year-old Travis Bell and 41-year-old Gary Wertheimer were arrested on suspicion of interfering with firefighters and not having authorization to be in an evacuation zone.

"The president has been pretty good on helping us in disasters, so I'm hopeful", said Brown, a Democrat. That likely references either future federal funding assistance or his approval to move water stored in federal facilities to help fight the California fires.

The president's comment comes after he said Sunday that too much water from the northern part of the state is being wasted by flowing into the Pacific Ocean.

Fire officials have said that 95 percent of all wildfires are caused by humans, from camp fires left unattended to careless smoking, to sparks from vehicles and improperly maintained power lines.

Brown's office announced Saturday that the White House has approved a request for a presidential major disaster declaration that would help fire victims in Shasta County, which has been ravaged by the Carr Fire.

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