Community Members Voice Their Concerns as Mendocino Complex Continues to Spread

Aaron Brown
August 5, 2018

At least 16,500 homes are still threatened by these fires and over 40,000 residents are under evacuation orders.

Four wildland firefighters have died in California this year, twice as many as in all of 2017.

The Mendocino Complex Fire is now the state's largest fire at more than two-thirds the size of sprawling Los Angeles, and has forced the evacuation of almost 16,000 residents and destroyed more than 100 structures.

However, some days-old evacuations were lifted Friday in an area near Redding, where armies of firefighters and fleets of aircraft have been battling an huge blaze about 100 miles (160 kilometers) south of the OR line.

Additionally, the Ferguson fire rages near Yosemite National Park.

The National Weather Service has issued warnings for critical fire weather conditions Friday and Saturday as a series of dry low-pressure systems pass through the region, bringing gusts up to 35 miles per hour (56 kph) in the afternoon.

With the peak of the fire season yet to come, it puts California on track for its most destructive fire year in over a decade, in terms of area burned, said Cal Fire Deputy Chief Scott McLean.

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On Thursday, a special contingent of 100 firefighters from Australia and New Zealand took off from Sydney en route to USA assignments reinforcing exhausted fire crews in northern California, Oregon and Washington state. The forecast includes extremely low humidity levels that leave vegetation ready to burn.

Both fires actively burned through the night, with the Ranch Fire expanding rapidly eastward toward the site where the Pawnee Fire burned in Lake County in late June and early July, a Mendocino National Forest incident update said.

A 100-square-mile (259-square-kilometer) fire near Yosemite National Park prompted evacuation orders for the community of Wawona inside the park, which has fewer than 200 residents.

California fire officials said Saturday that the two fires about 100 miles (161 kilometers) north of San Francisco were 27 percent contained and have grown to nearly 250 square miles (648 kilometers). "From that spark, the so-called Carr Fire claimed the lives of six people and destroyed more than 1,500 structures, 1,000 of which were homes".

Braden Varney, 36, was working alone overnight July 14 fighting the wildfire while his assistant went to get a new hydraulic hose.

Some evacuations were lifted Friday in an area near Redding, where armies of firefighters and fleets of aircraft have been battling an enormous blaze about 100 miles south of the OR line. The report called for better "risk assessment" among firefighters.

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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