The L.A. Times has reported that the Mendocino Complex fire is now the biggest in California’s history. The wildfire has burned through 283,000 acres, surpassing the Thomas fire of late 2017, which burned through approximately 281,000 acres.
To put that into perspective, it’s covering an area slightly smaller than the city of Los Angeles, an area slightly larger than Hong Kong, or approximately 370,000 football fields, or 4.5 million tennis courts. It’s big.
The blaze was only 30% contained as of Monday, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. As Scott McLean, a deputy chief there has said: “(It’s) one of those records you don’t want to see.”
It is continuing to spread as well, with officials saying that not even the night is offering relief.
In fact, it devoured another 6,900 acres in one night.
Evacuations have been taking place across numerous counties, with the only silver lining has been that this particular wildfire has been less destructive to property, due to it burning in more remote areas.
As of August 8 morning, less than 100 structures have been lost and no one has been killed. Last year’s fires destroyed thousands of homes and killed dozens of people. Residents have been camping out in vans and parking lots outside the evacuated areas until it is safe to go back. Rick Travis of Lake Country said: “I know it’s going to be over and I’m glad nobody has been hurt.”
It understandable why officials are taking every precaution to protect residents.
“It is extremely fast, extremely aggressive, extremely dangerous,” McLean said. “Look how big it got, just in a matter of days. That just doesn’t happen.”
“We’re seeing fire behavior that firefighters have never seen in their careers,” Steve Kaufman, another spokesman with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, also contributed.
Rescue crews and firefighters are dealing with intense heat, difficult terrain, and poor air quality, which have also prompted warnings for residents in the Los Angeles area.
California has been hit with a number of devastating wildfires over the last few years, a lot of which has been caused by conditions created from an ongoing drought.
You can track the Californian fires here.