California's Mendocino Wildfire Is Now The 2nd-Largest In State History

California's Mendocino Wildfire Is Now The 2nd-Largest In State History

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.

This year, California wildfires have burned more land earlier in the "fire season" than usual, said Ken Pimlott, Cal Fire director, during a news conference Saturday.

Scott McLean, a deputy chief with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, described the flames as "extremely fast, extremely aggressive, extremely dangerous".

California fire officials said that the two fires about 100 miles north of San Francisco were 30 percent contained and have scorched 428 square miles.

The White House did not respond to requests to clarify Trump's tweets.

"The idea that there isn't enough water is the craziest thing in the world", says Peter Gleick, president emeritus of the Pacific Institute for Studies in Development, Environment, and Security in Oakland.

But Cal Fire officials said there has not been a situation where crews needed water and couldn't access it.

Firefighters stand watch on a roof as a wildfire sweeps through the area near Lakeport, Calif., Thursday, August 2, 2018. Its absence tells the story behind Trump's fire tweet: He has no idea what's causing the bushfires this season, no conception of how to fight them and no plan in place to alter the trend of more fires or more severity. "We had some very erratic fire conditions and it actually crossed the dozer lines and made a hard push, (but) we were able to stop it at Bear Creek Road" and create solid dozer lines on the east section of the fire.

"Governor Jerry Brown must allow the Free Flow of the vast amounts of water coming from the North and foolishly being diverted into the Pacific Ocean", Trump tweeted on Monday.

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Elsewhere in California, evacuations were ordered for cabins in Cleveland National Forest canyons in Orange County on Monday afternoon after a blaze broke out and quickly spread to blacken some 700 acres (283 hectares).

Ayeta died when his vehicle crashed as he worked with crews in risky terrain in Shasta County.

"The president has been pretty good on helping us in disasters, so I'm hopeful", said Brown, a Democrat.

It's killed seven people, including two firefighters who were helping residents evacuate from the affected area. Another large fire that is still now uncontained, the Carr Fire, is climbing the list at number 12.

Critics said his tweets ignored the greater wildfire frequency and severity experienced in California and other Western states from extreme drought and sustained periods of hot, dry weather, in keeping with the forecasts of climate scientists.

The fire was started two weeks ago by sparks from a steel wheel of a towed-trailer's flat tire.

Firefighters have achieved more than 40 percent containment of that fire, which had reached into remote areas of the country's third-oldest national park. By nightfall, the fire had burned 4,000 acres (6 square miles or 16 square kilometers) of chaparral-covered hillsides and destroyed one building.

Last year's Thomas fire, which consumed 281,000 acres in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties, remains the state's largest on record.

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