California wildfire becomes largest in state history

California wildfire becomes largest in state history

The Mendocino Complex fire has become the largest wildfire recorded in modern California history.

According to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, the fire, which is comprised of both the Ranch and River fires, scorched over 283,800 acres as of Monday afternoon, the Los Angeles Times reported. 

“We broke the record,” Scott McLean, a deputy chief with Cal Fire, told the newspaper. “That’s one of those records you don’t want to see.”

The Mendocino Complex fire is reportedly growing by thousands of acres daily and has surpassed the state’s Thomas fire last year, which set ablaze more than 281,000 acres in California.

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“It is extremely fast, extremely aggressive, extremely dangerous,” McLean continued. “Look how big it got, just in a matter of days. … Look how fast this Mendocino Complex went up in ranking. That doesn’t happen. That just doesn’t happen.”

California is grappling with 18 large fires burning across the state, including the deadly Carr fire, which has claimed seven lives to date.

Officials have said that fire has been particularly difficult to contain due to shifting winds and canyons.

Meteorologist Alex Hoon said during a briefing Monday that he is hopeful a high-pressure system moving into the region this week will help contain the blaze. 

“This is pretty much the best weather conditions we can ask for, for the beginning part of August. The fire’s not going to get up and move,” Hoon said.