Massive wildfire rages after becoming largest in California's history

Massive wildfire rages after becoming largest in California's history

The Mendocino Complex of Fires east of Ukiah, California has blackened more than 273,664 acres, becoming the second largest wildfire in the state's recorded history.

The Mendocino Complex fire is burning close to the shoreline of Clear Lake, the largest natural freshwater lake entirely within the state of California. But fierce, hot winds continue to whip flames into a frenzy.

The Mendocino Complex was still growing as it broke the record set last December.

"California wildfires are being magnified and made so much worse by the bad environmental laws which aren't allowing massive amount of readily available water to be properly utilized", Trump wrote on Twitter.

Firefighters predict they'll fully contain the Mendocino Complex fire by August 15.

McLean said firefighters are using the direct approach to prevent the fires from reaching urban areas along Clear Lake while retreating in national forests "and letting the fire come to us".

The wildfires are "extremely fast, extremely aggressive, extremely risky", said Scott McLean, a deputy chief with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

President Trump claimed in a tweet that California's wildfires are "made so much worse by the bad environmental laws" which prevent firefighters from accessing water. In all, they have destroyed hundreds of homes, killed eight people - including two firefighters assisting in a wildfire near Yosemite National Park.

"Fires do not know boundaries or borders and as a firefighting service we are ready to respond both within Australia and overseas", he said.




Thankfully, there have been no fatalities or major injuries on this fire, to firefighters or civilians.

But state fire officials, climate scientists and ecologists say Trump's assertion is baffling - and false. As of Monday, that fire burned through 163,000 acres and destroyed more than 1,000 homes.

According to the LA Times and CalFire, however, the water used for irrigation in Central Valley farms isn't the water that would be used for fighting fires outside of Redding.

Mandatory evacuations are in place throughout Shasta and Trinity counties.

Experts have said this has meant fires spreading more quickly from rural areas to urban developments. Some say farmers should be allowed to draw more water from the delta, rather than reserving it to protect natural habitat for wildlife.

The fires in Northern California have created such a haze of smoke in the Central Valley that Sacramento County health officials advised residents to avoid outdoor activities for the entire week.

The group in California includes 10 task force leaders, four structure protection specialists, six safety officers, four helicopter managers, two heavy equipment bosses, 15 division supervisors, 10 crew bosses and two liaison officers, Bilbao said.

Authorities say that the fires are only 30% contained and may not be fully under control for at least another week.

"Congress and the president could help out with that by, rather than cutting fire funding, putting more money into basic" prevention efforts, he said.

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