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Mendocino Complex fire now largest in California history

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The Mendocino Complex Fire, comprised of two blazes, has destroyed nearly 300,000 acres and now ranks as the largest fire in California's history. Photo courtesy of Mendocino National Forest/Twitter

By Susan McFarland, UPI

California's Mendocino Complex Fire has grown into the largest wildfire in the state's history, scorching more than 283,000 acres and growing by 80 percent in three days.

The fire, comprised of the Ranch and River fires, had destroyed 143 structures, including 75 homes, by Monday evening and was 30 percent contained, Cal Fire officials said.

No injuries have been reported in the Mendocino Complex Fire, which is burning around Clear Lake in Northern California. The fire has now surpassed the size of last year's Thomas Fire, which burned 281,893 acres in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties.

[post_ads]Evacuations were issued in Mendocino, Lake and Colusa counties, because of the Mendocino fire, which is largely confined to remote areas. The Ranch and River fires have not merged but are burning on separate sides of Clear Lake.

Cal Fire Deputy Chief Scott McLean said the fire is "extremely fast, extremely aggressive, extremely dangerous."

"Look how big it got, just in a matter of days... Look how fast this Mendocino Complex went up in ranking. That doesn't happen," McLean told the Los Angeles Times.

Other fires in the state include the Carr Fire in Shasta County, which killed a Pacific Gas and Electric Co. employee Saturday in the Whiskeytown National Recreation Area, bringing its death toll to seven.

As of Monday, the Carr Fire burned 163,000 acres and more than 1,000 homes, and was 45 percent contained. The Ferguson Fire near Yosemite National Park has killed two and charred 91,000 acres. It's about 40 percent contained.

California's Mendocino Complex Fire, made of of the Ranch and River fires, grew Monday evening into the largest wildfire in modern California history. Photo courtesy of the Mendocino National Forest

Over the weekend, the White House approved California's request for federal disaster aid. President Donald Trump approved the funding but blamed the state's environmental laws for the wildfires.

"California wildfires are being magnified & made so much worse by the bad environmental laws which aren't allowing massive amounts of readily available water to be properly utilized," Trump tweeted. "It is being diverted into the Pacific Ocean. Must also tree clear to stop fire spreading!"

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U.S. - U.S. Daily News: Mendocino Complex fire now largest in California history
Mendocino Complex fire now largest in California history
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U.S. - U.S. Daily News
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