The Mendocino Complex Fire has burned over 283,000 acres in Northern California, surpassing the 281,893 acre state record set by the Thomas Fire in January.
The Mendocino fire is 12 days old. Firefighters have encircled most of the blaze and Cal Fire estimates it will have the wildfire fully contained in about a week. State officials began ending evacuation orders and withdrawing warnings in the area, according to The Sacramento Bee.
The Mendocino Complex Fire actually refers to two nearby smaller fires, the River Fire and Ranch Fire. The twin wildfires have destroyed nearly 150 structures, including 75 homes.
The Thomas Fire burned in Southern California between December 2017 and January 2018 and ranks as the state’s eighth most destructive fire. It destroyed more than 1,000 homes and led to deadly mudslides off of hills stripped bare of vegetation. (RELATED: Thomas Fire Now California’s Largest In State History)
California’s most destructive fire is the Tubbs Fire that began in October of 2017. The Tubbs burned roughly 13 percent of the total acreage the Mendocino Complex Fire has consumed, but it destroyed more than 5,600 structures and killed 22 people, according to Cal Fire.
President Donald Trump blamed “bad environmental laws” Monday for more severe wildfires plaguing California in recent years. (RELATED: Trump Says ‘Bad Environmental Laws’ Made Deadly California Fires Even Worse)
“California wildfires are being magnified & made so much worse by the bad environmental laws which aren’t allowing massive amount of readily available water to be properly utilized,” Trump tweeted. “It is being diverted into the Pacific Ocean. Must also tree clear to stop fire spreading!”
The president was likely referring to poor land management practices, such as restricted logging and tree clearing and homebuilding in fire-prone areas, that are adding to the severity and destruction of wildfires.
How California’s water supply is linked to current wildfires is not clear.
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