Mendocino Complex Is Now California’s Seventh Largest Wildfire To Date

Share

At least 16,500 homes are still threatened by these fires and over 40,000 residents are under evacuation orders. The two blazes were named as the Mendocino Complex Fire and are threatening 12,200 structures.

The blaze in the Redding area, 225 miles (360 kilometers) north of San Francisco, is the largest of 18 wildfires burning throughout California.

Additionally, the Ferguson fire rages near Yosemite National Park.

The weather service issued warnings for critical fire weather conditions into Saturday, saying a series of dry low-pressure systems passing through the region would bring afternoon wind gusts.

In an interview with the Associated Press, NWS meteorologist Duane Dykema said the phenomenon was on par with some of the most destructive Midwest tornadoes.

Winds in the "fire whirl" created July 26 near Redding reached speeds of 143 miles per hour (230 kph), a speed that rivaled some of the most destructive Midwest tornados, National Weather Service meteorologist Duane Dykema said.

These numbers are likely to rise further, given the Carr fire is still only 37% contained and the weather conditions will remain conducive to burns, making fighting the fire more hard.

The Carr Fire is 39-percent contained, but firefighters are widening fire breaks to prevent winds from causing it to flare up again.

Hundreds of colleagues, family and friends attended a Fresno memorial service for an elite firefighter who died fighting one of the state's 17 major wildfires still burning. The forecast includes extremely low humidity levels that leave vegetation ready to burn.

California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection officials said that fire was started two weeks ago by sparks from the steel wheel of a towed-trailer's flat tire.

Both fires actively burned through the night, with the Ranch Fire expanding rapidly eastward toward the site where the Pawnee Fire burned in Lake County in late June and early July, a Mendocino National Forest incident update said. Fourteen homes and 24 other structures have been destroyed, and eight other homes have been damaged, according to Cal Fire.

In the Sierra Nevada, firefighters achieved 41 percent containment of a forest fire that has shut down Yosemite Valley and other adjacent portions of Yosemite National Park at what is normally the height of summer tourism.

Another fire located 100 miles to the northeast has already seen six deaths with 41 percent of that blaze reportedly under control. Varney's radio wasn't communicating with headquarters, so his assistant relayed messages - until they lost contact.

More than 13,000 firefighters are battling blazes statewide with the help of crews from as far away as Florida. The report called for better "risk assessment" among firefighters.

Share