Wildfires the size of Los Angeles may be California's worst

Flames from a wildfire advance down a hillside towering over homes off Scotts Valley Road Thursday near Lakeport

For the second time in less than eight months, California broke its record for the largest fire in the state's history.

Two fires roaring through northern California have grown so rapidly that they are now the largest ever to ravage the state, authorities said.

The fires, known as the Mendocino Complex, are burning around 100 miles north of San Francisco.

Water, used in protecting homes and other structures and for dumping on flames from airplane tankers and helicopters, is critical but secondary to the larger manual efforts of clearing unburned vegetation to remove it as potential fuel around a fire's perimeter. Yellow areas represent the fire perimeter. They made good progress on dozer line running from the Eel River northeast to below the community, and are looking for opportunities to place indirect line across the northern edge of the fire. But Nguyen said these have not happened in the affected areas.

Some 200 soldiers from the 14th Brigade Engineer Battalion at Joint Base Lewis-McChord near Tacoma, Wash., have also been called in to help in one of the most destructive fire seasons on record. The two fires, which have threatened more than 9,000 structures, have not merged, but officials are counting them as one. It's only 20 percent contained.

Firefighters are unlikely to see some respite.

"This will be the kinds of conditions we'll be facing all summer", he said. "Everything is still dry".

Collectively dubbed the Mendocino Complex, the wildfires have burned through 283,800 acres (114,850 hectares) - an area almost the size of the sprawling city of Los Angeles - and are just 30 percent contained, according to state fire authority CalFire. Firefighters continue to battle the blaze, which is now only 30 percent contained.

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A geophysicist and volcanologist, Gerst also worked as a volunteer firefighter while in school, according to his ESA biography.

Ayeta is the seventh person to die in the huge blaze that has been burning for two weeks. The utility has not responded to a request for comment.

On Sunday, Mr. Trump tweeted Sunday that the wildfires hitting California are "being magnified & made so much worse by the bad environmental laws which aren't allowing massive amount of readily available water to be properly utilized".

Trump doubled down Monday, saying that California Gov.

Republican lawmakers in California's agriculture-rich Central Valley complain the state and federal governments allow too much of the state's rainfall and snow melt to flow naturally through rivers and into the Pacific Ocean, instead of being diverted for irrigation.

Wind swept flames from the Ranch fire threaten the town of Nice near Upper Lake, California, on August 3, 2018.

As for the severity of the golden state's fire season, that's attributed to the warming climate, not environmental laws.

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