Tuesday, August 07, 2018

California scorched by raging wildfires the size of LA

Tens of thousands of firefighters battled relentless flames ripping across California on Tuesday, as the death toll from a series of infernos that erupted last month hit 11. The raging Mendocino Complex fire comprising twin blazes in the western state's north has now ravaged more than 290,000 acres (117,359 hectares) -- approximately the size of sprawling Los Angeles -- in less than two weeks, becoming California's largest wildfire since record-keeping began a century ago. Some 14,000 firefighters including reinforcements from as far away as Australia and New Zealand are combating the firestorm devouring broad swaths of the state. The River Fire of the Mendocino Complex is 78 percent contained, having burned 48,920 acres. But its partner blaze the Ranch Fire has grown to 241,772 acres and is just 20 percent contained. Limited access, heavy fuel loads, low fuel moisture and high temperatures were all impeding firefighters' efforts to rein in the conflagration, the state's CalFire authority said. The overall Mendocino Complex fire has destroyed at least 143 structures, 75 of them residences. More than 11,000 other structures are threatened, according to CalFire said...MORE

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