A rapidly growing wildfire that has forced thousands to evacuate in Northern California surged overnight into Saturday - growing over 25% in size according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire). The "Mendocino Complex Fire" which consists of two fires had reached 201,471 acres and 34% containment as of the agency's last report.
The Mendocino Complex Fire is now the state’s largest fire at more than two-thirds the size of sprawling Los Angeles, and has forced the evacuation of nearly 16,000 residents and destroyed more than 100 structures. -Reuters
LATEST Map of the #MendocinoComplex as of 8-4-18.— Mendocino NF (@MendocinoNF) August 4, 2018
For More Incident Information, Visit https://t.co/t00OJNAqJx #MendocinoCounty #ColusaCounty #LakeCounty @CAL_FIRE @CALFIRE_MEU @LakeCoSheriffCA @MendoSheriff pic.twitter.com/A47f3neDpA
The Mendocino Complex has grown larger than the deadly Carr fire which is still raging around 100 miles to the northeast, and has killed six people while destroying over 1,500 structures.
Firefighters have managed to bring that blaze to 41% contained, while some evacuees have been allowed to return. Both areas remain under a "red flag warning," however, as strong winds, low relative humidity and high temperatures topping 90 degrees are perfect conditions for further spread.
#RanchFire #MendocinoComplex off Hwy 20 near Potter Valley, NE of Ukiah (Mendocino Co) is now 156,678 acres and 27% contained. Evacuations still in place.— Deven_FireINFO (@Deven_FireINFO) August 4, 2018
( This is a picture from the ISS of the #CaliforniaWildfires ) pic.twitter.com/J8nZ0N5rAe
Exhausted firefighters continue to battle the Mendocino complex, which threatens 12,300 structures.
Behind Upper Lake.#RanchFire #MendocinoComplex #RiverFire— Chris Baker (@instructorbaker) August 4, 2018
Off Highway 20 near Potter Valley, northeast of Ukiah (Mendocino County).#CaFire #CaWx #FireBehavior
(Photo Credits: Unknown). pic.twitter.com/xQP5SnHYH8
#MendocinoComplex Control Objectives for today#RanchFire:— YubaNet Fire News (@YubaNetFire) August 4, 2018
-Keep the fire North of Hwy 20
-Keep the fire South of the Snow Mountain Wilderness Area
-Keep the fire East of Potter Valley
-Keep the fire West of Leesville Lodoga Rdhttps://t.co/HIXX5vqF6i pic.twitter.com/BQTY1gJ86X
My dad not wanting to leave his home. I lost my house 9 months ago...Support each other, love each other.. the smallest kindness can give someone the strength to make it through the day. Prayers for California 💔#riverfire #ranchfire #MendocinoComplexFire #mendocinocomplex pic.twitter.com/OOrc7WEAIX— Alicia Santana (@aliisantana90) July 29, 2018
Yesterday, more than 1,900 meals were served for the #MendocinoComplex evacuation centers. We couldn’t do this without the help of so many volunteers who have stepped up in the past week. Thank you! pic.twitter.com/W6zrUlx1Uc— SalArmy Del Oro (@salarmydeloro) August 4, 2018
This year’s California wildfire season has been more destructive than in years past, burning about 290,000 acres (117,300 hectares), more than double the five-year average over that same period, according to Cal Fire.
In total, 14 states are currently reporting large fires. Most are in other western states but wildfires have also struck Texas and Florida, according to the National Interagency Fire Center. -Reuters
Fires have charred 4.9 million acres so far this year - significantly higher than the 10-year average according to the Fire Center.