California's Mendocino fire becomes the state's largest in history

Mendocino fire racing at unprecedented speed into the record books

Crews did make progress over the weekend against one of the two blazes in the Mendocino Complex with help from water-dropping aircraft, Cal Fire operations chief Charlie Blankenheim said in a video on Facebook.

"Because we're out here trying to save people's homes, and so you see some of the destruction the fire does", Pizano said. The blaze surpassed the Thomas fire, which burned through more than 281,000 acres in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties late previous year.

Several areas impacted by the Mendocino Complex Fire are seeing evacuations being lifted.

The complex of fire has been less destructive to property than some of the other wildfires in the state because it is mostly raging in remote areas.

Officials had set a target to extinguish the fire by mid-August, but they now say they will need until early September.

The Carr Fire has been blamed for seven deaths, including a 21-year-old Pacific Gas and Electric Company lineman Jay Ayeta, whom the company said on Sunday was killed in a vehicle crash as he worked with crews in risky terrain.

Aerial view of Trabuco Canyon as a tanker aircraft dumps load onto Holy Fire, Near Santiago Peak, California, U.S., August 6, 2018 in this still image taken from a video obtained from social media.

A Cal Fire spokesman declined to comment on Trump's claims but said crews did not lack water to fight the flames.

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The fire itself has burned through the southern portion of the Mendocino National Forest and continues to threaten surrounding towns. In rural areas up north, what began as two small fires more than a week ago have grown at breathtaking speed to form the Mendocino Complex Fire, a massive and still-growing inferno that has charred an area nearly the size of Los Angeles.

Two fires, known as the Ranch Fire and the River Fire, are now burning around Clear Lake in Southern California.

A number of complex fires fill the list of the top 20 largest wildfires in California history, including the 192,038-acre Klamath Theater Complex Fire near the OR state line in June 2008.

The latest update from Cal Fire notes that total containment actually decreased to 30 percent, down from 33 percent the previous day. It's only 20 percent contained.

The River Fire is smaller, scorching 48,920 acres so far, and burning to the west of Clear Lake. The fast moving brush fire has burned at least 4,000 acres.

"It's unprecedented in these seven communities", Lake County Supervisors Chairman Jim Steele told KTVU, "having all of these shoreline communities evacuated, everyone is nervous about getting back in".

The so-called Mendocino Complex fire is only a couple of square miles larger than a deadly blaze last December but it's still growing.

Experts say 2018 has the worst start to the fire season in 10 years - partly due to the 2012-2017 drought that killed off large amounts of vegetation.

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