California wildfire now 2nd largest in state history

California wildfire now 2nd largest in state history

Dozens of wildfires are now burning in the state of California, threatening life and buildings.

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

As of Monday, the Mendocino Complex Fire shows little sign of slowing down.

RUSH FIRE (Lassen County), August 2012 Acres burned: 271,911 in California (43,666 in Nevada) Structures destroyed: 0 Deaths: 0 5. Fire officials use the term "complex" fire to describe two or more fire incidents in the same area that are under the same operational control. "The overload of dead and diseased timber in the forests makes the fires worse and more deadly". About three-quarters of the perimeter has been quiet recently, but it is still moving aggressively north, coming to within less than two miles of merging with the Ranch Fire to the north.

Officials say the twin fires threaten 11,300 buildings.

It was the second fire to break records in the fire-prone, most populous U.S. state in as many years, following the Thomas Fire in December 2017, which destroyed 281,893 acres.

Experts say whichever approach Cal Fire takes, California firefighters are often more aggressive in trying to extinguish wildfires than those in other less-populated states.

Here's what to know about California's largest ever wildfire.

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A hillside smolders after flames passed through during the Ranch Fire in Clearlake Oaks, Calif., on Sunday, August 5, 2018. Blazing temperatures during the day have exacerbated the wildfire.

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As of Monday, the Carr Fire had consumed 163,207 acres and was 45 percent contained.

The Carr Fire fire has been blamed on the "mechanical failure of a vehicle", which caused sparks to fly in the extremely dry conditions. In addition, "the rates of mortality from fire, insects, and disease are about three times as high on national forest lands as they are on private lands regulated under California's strict environmental laws", he said.

Following a request to respond as part of the Texas Intrastate Fire Mutual Aid System, the Frisco Fire Department said it will send four firefighters and a brush truck to California. The Cedar fire in 2003, now the third-largest, devoured 273,246 acres in San Diego County, according to Cal Fire records. The Thomas Fire scorched a much more densely populated area, burning through 1,063 structures and damaging 280 more.

A total firefighting force of around 15,000 has now been deployed against the 18 fires burning in California. "You got steep terrain that makes it hard for firefighters".

"California is going through a really heartbreaking fire season right now", he added.

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