Published: Wed, August 08, 2018
Worldwide | By Sean Reid

California wildfires can now be seen from space

California wildfires can now be seen from space

After a day of hot, dry winds fueled by a high-pressure system on Monday, progress was made on the smaller River Fire, as fire personnel reached 78 percent containment on the 48,920-acre blaze as of 7 a.m. Tuesday, a Cal Fire incident update said. Firefighters aren't running out of water as they battle the blazes, experts said.

Officials from the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CalFire) and the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, Idaho, stressed that wild-land blazes are battled primarily by crews hacking away at dry brush with hand tools and bulldozers, not with water.

Cal Fire officials said they were nervous because the state has seen so much destruction from fires when it's only the first week of August, reports CBS San Francisco.

"The twin wildfires, collectively known as the Mendocino Complex Fire, have together more than doubled in size in the past four days and burned through 283,800 acres of parched land-an area nearly the size of Los Angeles", reports the Washington Post.

"It is extremely fast, extremely aggressive, extremely risky", McLean continued.

NOAH BERGER via Getty Images Battalion Chief Matt Sully directs operations on the Ranch Fire, part of the Mendocino Complex Fire, burning near Clearlake Oaks on Sunday.

Climate change, which is associated with an increase in extreme weather, is just one reason why wildfires are getting worse every year.

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The Mendocino Complex Fire takes the top spot on the list of largest fires in state history from the Thomas Fire, which scorched Ventura and Santa Barbara counties in Southern California just last December.

The Mendocino Complex, which is comprised of two massive fires whose edges are as close as three miles apart, is not almost finished.

Another major fire, Ferguson, has left two dead and forced the closure of part of the Yosemite national park, and is now only 38 percent contained.

"Over 10,000 structures are threatened by these fires and 2,000 fires have been destroyed". By Monday, it has become the second-largest California wildfire on record, surpassing the size of a massive blaze that killed 15 people in 2003 in San Diego County. Despite decades of warnings about the dangers of building new homes in fire-prone areas, more than a third of the houses built in the United States since 2000 have been in these areas.

Firefighters predict they'll fully contain the Mendocino Complex fire by August 15. Jerry Brown's administration is sending water from "the North" into the Pacific Ocean. "Now they're doing three to four huge fires in a week".

"There were no firefighters here whatsoever until I called 911 and they sent some firefighters because they were all back in the valley paying attention to other fires", said Easter.

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