Mendocino Complex Fire Becomes Largest Blaze in California History

In a strikingly ignorant tweet Trump gets almost everything about California wildfires wrong

The Mendocino Complex, which is 30 per cent contained, has been less destructive to property than some of the other wildfires in the state because it is mostly raging in remote areas.

The Mendocino Complex consists of two neighboring Northern California blazes, the Ranch and River fires. The River Fire has burned 48,663 acres (19,693 hectares) and is 58 percent contained.

As fires grow to historic sizes in California, President Trump tweeted that the state is "foolishly" diverting "vast amounts of water from the North" into the Pacific Ocean instead of using them to fight its wildfires.

Thus far Australia, New Zealand and Mexico have all sent fire and rescue workers to help give California some relief. He also encouraged the clearing of trees to stop the fires from spreading.

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.

Exhausted firefighters across the state are trying to contain 16 major fires that are burning in hot, dry and windy conditions.

Instead, some White House officials admitted to being slightly perplexed at where Trump may have gotten the notion that California's long-running water crisis and a debate over how to divide limited supplies are somehow related to the out of control fires. But clearing trees is more commonly associated with commercial logging practices, not fire management.

The fire has destroyed dozens of homes and other buildings, and more than 11,000 structures remained threatened, the department said.

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Officials said Wednesday that the Carr Fire was the sixth most destructive wildfire in California history. Redding Police on Tuesday asked for help from the public locating four people who are still missing.

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The Cedar fire in 2003, now the third-largest, devoured 273,246 acres in San Diego County, according to Cal Fire records.

Seventeen wildfires are burning up and down California.

A new fire erupted Monday in Orange County, south of Los Angeles, and prompted the evacuation of two canyons and some campgrounds as it expanded into the Cleveland National Forest.

A geophysicist and volcanologist, Gerst also worked as a volunteer firefighter while in school, according to his ESA biography.

"We have plenty of water" for battling the massive blazes burning in hills north of San Francisco, said Scott McLean, a spokesman for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

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

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

"Extreme droughts and high winds are increasing as climate is warming", said Monica Turner, an ecologist at the University of Wisconsin at Madison who has spent three decades researching fires at Yellowstone National Park.

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