Three California wildfires merging into the largest in state´s history – Watch video
16,000 people evacuated in 80, 000 hectare California wildfire near Mendocino
A fast-growing forest fire in Mendocino north of San Francisco has become California’s largest wildfire. Between Friday and Saturday, strong winds contributed to increasing the burning area by a quarter, and the fire now covers 81,500 hectares, according to the authorities.
Only 34 percent of the fire is contained and about 16,000 people have been forced to leave their homes. The fire has destroyed over 100 buildings.
In another fire in California, which goes on to the northeast, six people have been killed and about 1,500 buildings have been destroyed. There, only 41 percent of the fire is contained.
The authorities also issued warnings for continued strong winds, low humidity and high temperatures – which may cause the fires to spread further.
Three California wildfires merging into the largest in state´s history
The wildfires called the Mendocino Complex in California, USA, have spread so fast that they have merged into one gigantic fire. The fire is now the largest terrain fire in the state’s history, reports the government agency Calfire.
An area of over 115,000 hectares, which corresponds to almost all of Los Angeles, has been affected so far.
The wildfires are under control only to a limited extent and are still spreading. In the next few days, temperatures are expected to reach as high as 43 degrees in northern California, and there are cool winds that give power to the fire.
The Mendocino Complex Fire has destroyed 75 homes and forced thousands of people to fly. However, it is only one of eight forest and land fires that plague the state. The Carr-fire, which started in late July, still rages and has transformed 66,000 hectares to ash. Seven people died in that fire.
The record for the largest fire in California is less than a year old – the so-called Thomas Fire at the end of 2017 destroyed over 114,000 hectares.
Scott Stephens, Berkley’s fire scientist, told Mercury News that the catastrophic fires of this year are due to dead dry vegetation remaining in the wild after five years of drought.
Also more people have moved into undeveloped parts of California, bringing more activities and temperatures have risen due to climate change, Stephens claims.
“I do not see much indicating that we will have fewer fires in the future,” he says.