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California wildfire explodes in size, largest in state’s history

By IANS Updated: Aug 07, 2018 8:53 pm
A resident, in yellow, wishing not to be identified, is comforted after seeing her fire-ravaged home for the first time in Redding, California.

San Francisco, Aug. 7 (IANS): Catastrophic wildfires continue to ravage California, as one blaze nearly doubled in size over the last three days, making it the largest in the US state’s history, according to authorities.

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 several counties in Northern California, reports CNN.

Combined, they form the biggest blaze that California firefighters are currently battling.

Altogether, the Mendocino Complex Fire has burned 283,800 acres – growing about 80 per cent since August 3.

As of Monday evening, it was 30 per cent contained and had destroyed 75 residences.

The Mendocino Complex Fire has now surpassed last year’s Thomas Fire, which burned 281,893 acres in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties, as the largest fire in Cal Fire history.

Exhausted firefighters across the state are trying to contain 16 major fires that are burning in hot, dry and windy conditions.

On Monday, another fast-moving fire ignited in the state – this time in Orange County, where firefighters battled the Holy Fire that expanded to more than 4,000 acres.

That fire started in the Cleveland National Forest and evacuations in the nearby areas have been ordered, according to the Orange County Fire Authority.

In Northern California’s Shasta County, the devastating Carr Fire claimed its seventh victim on August 4 when a Pacific Gas and Electric worker died while working with a crew to restore power, CNN reported.

Over the weekend, the White House approved a disaster declaration for Shasta County, allowing affected residents to apply for federal assistance including temporary housing and home repairs.

Currently, more than 14,000 firefighters are battling the wildfires across California.

Fire crews from Australia and New Zealand arrived in the state on Monday to provide assistance.

By IANS Updated: Aug 07, 2018 8:53:54 pm