Catastrophic wildfires are burning across U.S.’s western state of California. Despite a massive effort to contain them, one blaze has nearly doubled in size over the last three days, making it the largest in the state's history.
No one has been injured in the Mendocino Complex Fire, which consists of two fires -- the Ranch Fire and the River Fire -- burning around Clear Lake, in Northern California. Combined, the Mendocino Complex Fire has burned 2,83,800 acres -- growing about 80% since Friday night. As of Monday evening, it was 30% contained and had destroyed 75 residences, according to the Cal Fire Department.
The Mendocino Complex Fire has now surpassed last year's Thomas Fire, which burned 2,81,893 acres in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties, as the largest fire in Cal Fire history.
More than 14,000 firefighters are battling 16 major wildfires across California. "Battling these relentless fires requires a Herculean effort," California Gov. Jerry Brown had written in his request to President Donald Trump for a presidential major disaster declaration.
Fire crews from Australia and New Zealand have arrived in California to help. They came to Redding, on Monday, according to the U.S. Forest Service-Pacific Southwest Region.
Australia and New Zealand Firefighters arriving in Redding have mobilized through a longstanding partnership with the USDA Forest Service to ensure adequate numbers of experienced fire managers are available to suppress large fires. #CarrFire #MendocinoComplexFires #MutualAid pic.twitter.com/oovrIGY3v2
— USFS Fire-California (@R5_Fire_News) August 6, 2018
Parts of the city of Redding were damaged by the Carr Fire, which has burned more than 164,413 acres. The fire was 47% contained as of late Monday, according to Cal Fire. The Carr Fire, now in its third week, is the sixth most destructive in the state's history, having destroyed more than 1,600 structures, according to Cal Fire Department.
Another fire burning in California’s famed Yosemite National Park has prompted the indefinite closure of some of the most popular parts of the national park such as the Yosemite Valley. The fire has already claimed the lives of two people and injured 11.