Wildfire continues to rage in California, now largest in state history


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.

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

Keith Gilless is a UC Berkeley professor of forest economics and chairman of the California Board of Forestry and Fire Protection. That fire started in the Cleveland National Forest and evacuations in the nearby areas have been ordered, according to the Orange County Fire Authority.

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

The fire is compromised of the Ranch and River fires, two separate conflagrations that has merged, and is continuing growing. WITCH FIRE (San Diego County), October 2007 Acres burned: 197,990 Structures destroyed: 1,650 Deaths: 2 9.

The Mendocino Complex Fire began a little more than a week ago with two neighboring fires burning through only 9,500 acres of land, then rapidly spreading - at one point, by almost 30,000 acres within hours.

In all, more than 14,000 firefighters are battling major blazes throughout California. Add California Wildfires as an interest to stay up to date on the latest California Wildfires news, video, and analysis from ABC News.

A hillside smolders after flames passed through during the Ranch Fire in Clearlake Oaks, Calif., on Sunday, August 5, 2018.

The smaller fire, known as River Fire, is more contained and has grown by only a few thousand acres over the weekend.

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Seventy-five homes and 68 other structures have been destroyed by the fire so far.

Typically, temperatures dip and humidity rises overnight, giving fire crews a window to slow down the spread of the wildfires.

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

NASA astronaut Ricky Arnold - a crewmember on the ISS' current Expedition 56 along with Gerst and four other spaceflyers - posted some fire photos of his own via Twitter today (Aug. 6).

Officials had set a target to extinguish the fire by mid-August, but they now say they will need until early September.

More than 3,900 firefighters are working to contain the Mendocino Complex Fire, with more than 60 fire crews and 441 fire engines, according to Cal Fire.

"The soldiers will be outfitted with wildland fire Personal Protective Equipment and all of the gear they will need to serve as wildland firefighters", U.S. Northern Command said in a statement. "You got steep terrain that makes it hard for firefighters".

In addition, 180 fire management specialists from Australia and New Zealand have now arrived in the United States, most assigned to work on fire fronts in California and the Pacific Northwest.

What was California's second-largest fire?