On Monday, twin fires being treated in north of San Francisco became the largest collective wildfire in the state history, which destroyed more than 443 square miles of rural area and forest, almost the size of Los Angeles.
The Mendocino Complex fires have swelled to become larger than the deadly Carr Fire, about 160 km to the northeast, which has killed at least six people and destroyed more than 1,500 structures. Dry, hot winds fueled both blazes, which have collectively charred almost 400 square miles (1,036 square kilometers) of brush and timber.
Of the two fires that makeup the Mendocino Complex Fire, the River Fire, which has burned over 48,000 acres, has the largest containment, sitting at 58 percent contained.
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Crews made progress over the weekend against one of the two blazes in the Mendocino Complex with help from water-dropping aircraft, Cal Fire operations chief Charlie Blankenheim said in a video on Facebook.
"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.
The Ferguson Fire started on July 13.
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Throughout this busy fire season, firefighters here in Northern California have not indicated that a lack of water is hampering their efforts to fight these fires or contributing to their growth. But officials say the twin fires threaten 9,000 buildings and some new evacuations were ordered over the weekend as the flames spread. It was listed as the sixth most-destructive in state history, having destroyed more than 1,600 structures, according to Cal Fire.
Woodward said the crew will be traveling to Northern California sometime this week.
It is only 30% contained so far, with authorities warning it could take another week to get the blaze under control. The massive wildfire has grown to 154,524 acres and is 41 percent contained.
Peter Gleick, one of California's leading experts on Western water resources as president of the Oakland-based Pacific Institute, said that Trump appeared to be seizing on the wildfires to side with farmers on a separate debate over how to allocate California's finite water resources among farmers, cities, fish and wildlife. "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. In response to the devastating wildfires in Shasta County, Tri Counties Bank has created a verified GoFundMe campaign to help those impacted by the fires.
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