Air Tanker Deployed to Contain Devastating Mendocino Complex Wildfires

Leroy Wright
August 6, 2018

"What seems like we should be in the peak of fire season, historically, is really now the kind of conditions we're seeing really at the beginning".

Cal Fire said on August 3 that the Ranch Fire, which is burning northeast of Ukiah, had consumed about 115,250 acres since it started on July 27, with firefighters managing to contain about 28 percent of the blaze.

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.

Every year is teaching the fire authorities new lessons.

The blaze has killed two firefighters.

Hundreds of colleagues, family and friends attended a memorial service Saturday in Fresno for National Forest Service Capt. Brian Hughes, the Fresno Bee reported.

The River Fire, where this video of air tanker was taken, has burned through 42,200 acres and is about 50 percent contained.

A Spring Valley house is consumed by flames as the Ranch Fire continued to expand westward in Lake County, Calif.

Since 2008, California has experienced nine of the top 20 most destructive wildfires in its history in terms of structures burned, according to a CalFire report. They have grown to nearly 250 square miles (648 kilometers).

Cal Fire Mendocino is sharing new alerts with haste on their Twitter, and Mendocino Complex Fire incident page. The forecast included extremely low humidity levels that leave vegetation ready to burn.

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The global fire teams from Australia and New Zealand will arrive in Redding on Monday, Pimlott said.

A California bulldozer operator almost slipped off a steep mountain trail three times before his vehicle finally rolled into a ravine and fatally crushed him.

Two blazes collectively called the Mendocino Complex burned in Mendocino, Lake and Colusa counties, about 145km north of San Francisco.

Those figures, along with the fact that large fires are starting earlier in the year, has state officials anxious.

California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection spokeswoman Jane LaBoa says a wildfire remains several miles from the communities along the eastern shore of Clear Lake, about 110 miles (175 kilometers) north of San Francisco.

Firefighters continue to battle huge blazes in Lakeport, California, with thousands evacuated.

The Carr Fire in northern California has burned more than 130,000 acres in a two-week span, killing six people, displacing 35,000, and destroying more than 1,500 buildings.

The blaze is now 41 percent contained.

The heat of wildfires can sometimes create short-lived "fire whirls", and at first, experts were reluctant to call the Redding fire column a tornado. The twirling tower of flame reached speeds of 143 miles per hour, which rivaled some of the most destructive Midwest tornadoes, NWS meteorologist Duane Dykema said. The whirl uprooted trees and tore roofs from homes, Dykema said.

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