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Active-Duty Army Engineers Being Sent to Fight California Wildfires

08 August, 2018, 00:41 | Author: Lucille Rivera
  • Firefighters watch as a helicopter makes a drop on a hot spot of a wildfire in Scotts Valley near Lakeport California

The Mendocino Complex Fire is one of over a dozen large fires burning in California at the moment. The Mendocino Complex fire, which exploded over the weekend, is now the second-largest in California history.

The Mendocino Complex Fire has already engulfed 290,692 acres (117,639 hectares) - nearly the size of Los Angeles. Cal Fire says the Mendocino blaze, still only 30% contained, has destroyed more than 140 structures and could be a threat to thousands more, reports USA Today. Seven people, including two firefighters, have died so far in relation to that fire.

On Monday, another fast-moving fire ignited in the state - this time in Orange County, where firefighters battled the Holy Fire that expanded to more than 1,200 acres.

The fledgling wildland firefighters from JBLM will be organized into 10 teams of 20 soldiers each, Manning said, but they won't be sent to battle a blaze on their own.

Meanwhile US President Donald Trump has reiterated social media comments that the fires' spread is being "made so much worse" by California's environmental laws. "Must also tree clear to stop fire spreading!"

Firefighters had managed to contain 45 percent of the Carr blaze by Monday morning, and authorities were letting some evacuees return. The state's hot, dry conditions are fueling the record-setting blazes. 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.

The Mendocino Complex Fire is comprised of two twin fires: the River Fire and the Ranch Fire.

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"We're experiencing the same thing every day, which is our afternoon winds and high winds in the area", said Tricia Austin, a spokeswoman for the Mendocino Complex Fire.

Fire officials expect it to take another nine days to fully contain the so-called Mendocino Complex Fire, which had scorched 273,664 acres (110,748 hectares) by Monday morning, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, an area almost the size of Los Angeles.

The Carr Fire, now in its third week, is the sixth most destructive in the state's history, having destroyed more than 1,600 structures, according to Cal Fire.

For one thing, the wildfires are in the hills, far from the Pacific Ocean and from the man-made storage and distribution system that carries water from California's wetter north to the drier, more populated south.

In fact, another fire that made the list recently, the Soberanes Fire, has already been pushed off - even at more than 132,000 acres.

The press release states that residents who primarily reside in Shasta County can apply online at DisasterAssistance.gov or by phone at 800-621-3362 or (TTY) 800-462-7585.

The Ferguson Fire, which has claimed the lives of two firefighters, has burned over 91,000 acres, while the Cranston Fire has burned over 13,000 acres.

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