Mendocino Complex Fire now second-largest in California history

Smoke from the Ferguson fire fills Yosemite Valley in Yosemite National Park California

AP Smoke from the Ferguson fire fills Yosemite Valley in Yosemite National Park California

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

Since being ignited on 27 July they have devastated 283,000 acres (443.4 square miles). The blaze was only 30% contained.

The Mendocino Complex is technically two separate fires.

Evacuees watch the sunset as smoke from the Ranch Fire rises into the sky at Austin Park Beach in California.

The blaze is the deadliest of the fires racing through the state.

They take aim at the biggest wildfires in two ways and in much of the same way the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection has for decades.

Officials say the twin fires threaten 11,300 buildings.

It is one of two major wildfires in California, the other one being the Carr fire, about 260km north of state capital Sacramento. It now sits at No. 6 on that list after destroying more than 1,600 structures and leaving six people dead. This puts them at the number two spot on the list of largest wildfires in state history. Fueled by low humidity, triple-digit temperatures and winds blowing across wide swaths of tinder-dry vegetation, the conflagration has expanded to three counties, surrounded an entire river and parts of neighboring reservoirs, and destroyed and damaged almost 170 homes and other structures.

"We are routinely now seeing fires reach 100,000 acres several times in one month and it's only July, so we have a long way to go in this fire season, and as we saw a year ago fire season can go right up through December". Blazing temperatures during the day have exacerbated the wildfire.

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The Carr Fire fire has been blamed on the "mechanical failure of a vehicle", which caused sparks to fly in the extremely dry conditions.

The other fire that makes up the "complex" is the River Fire west of Clear Lake.

Crews will continue to work on tying in remaining containment lines on the River Fire, Cal Fire reported.

What are firefighters doing to stop the Mendocino Complex Fire?

Resources assigned to the fire include 432 fire engines, 89 water tenders, 15 helicopters, 57 hand crews, and 80 dozers, for a total of 3,781 personnel.

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

Aircraft are dropping retardant across ridgelines to keep fire from racing down hillsides toward residential communities. The Thomas Fire scorched a much more densely populated area, burning through 1,063 structures and damaging 280 more.

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

Another image of the California fires captured from orbit by NASA astronaut Ricky Arnold.

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