Raging Mendocino Complex fire becomes largest in California history (VIDEOS, PHOTOS)

07 August, 2018, 11:36 | Author: Diane Mills
  • PG&E employee dies after accident tied to the Carr fire company says

More than 129 million trees have died since 2010 in California, a problem that state officials trace back to climate change.

The Mendocino Complex became the largest wildfire in Californian history on Monday as it raged at the southern tip of the Mendocino National Forest where crews battled to keep flames from descending into foothill communities. The victim was a 21-year-old Pacific Gas and Electric worker who was working to restore power lines damaged in the fire.

Woodward said the crew will be traveling to Northern California sometime this week.

The Australian and New Zealand firefighters who arrived in the USA last weekend to help fight the wildfires spreading throughout the country have been deployed to blazes in Northern California and OR, the National Interagency Fire Center said Monday. The fire was 43% contained as of late Sunday, according to Cal Fire.

The Nevada County Strike Team, composed of engines from Ophir Hill Fire, Peardale Chicago Park Fire, Higgins Fire, Nevada County Consolidated Fire and Nevada City Fire is still assigned to the Ranch Fire on the Mendocino Complex.

Still only 30 percent contained, it is one of 17 major wildfires burning across California that prompted Trump to declare a "major disaster" in the state on Sunday, ordering federal funding to be made available to help recovery efforts.

Three men were given citations on Saturday for refusing to leave an area where firefighters wanted a tanker plane to make an air drop, causing the plane to be diverted, according to a post on the Lake County Sheriff Office's Facebook page. It has already destroyed 75 homes and threatens 9,300 structures.

"We broke the record", state Department of Forestry and Fire Protection spokesman Scott McLean said. Sunday was the 72nd consecutive day without rain in the area, she said.

"There's nothing that California water policy has done that makes these fires worse or more hard to fight", Gleick said.

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The disaster declaration that Trump approved for California on Sunday makes available federal funding to state, local and tribal governments "on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work and the fix or replacement of facilities damaged by the wildfires and high winds in Shasta County".

President Trump nevertheless criticised Democrat Governor Brown, repeating his attacks on California's environmental laws. "Tragedies bring people together".

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for evidence to support Trump's tweet. Trump said the water is being diverted into the Pacific Ocean.

The sole nugget of fact in Trump's tweet may be found in its final line, which states, "Must also tree clear to stop fire spreading!" It has destroyed 1,080 residences, according to Cal Fire.

Overall, experts say Trump's Twitter remarks ignore two of the biggest factors in the wildfires: Climate change, which is likely exacerbating the droughts that lead to fires, and increased development near forests that makes the fires more risky to life and property.

The Ferguson Fire started on July 13.

"Unfortunately, they're not going to get a break anytime soon", Brian Hurley, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service's Weather Prediction Center, said in an interview on Monday. "What seems like we should be in the peak of fire season, historically, is really now the kind of conditions we're seeing really at the beginning", said Pimlott.

The Donnell Fire burning in the Stanislaus National Forest and Tuolumne County has scorched 12,000 acres and is 1 percent contained.

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