New evacuations ordered as Mendocino Complex fire rages

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A firefighting aircraft drops fire retardant ahead of the River Fire as it burns through a canyon on August 1, 2018 in Lakeport, California. The River Fire has burned over 27,000 acres, destroyed 7 homes and .

New evacuations ordered as Mendocino Complex fire rages

Despite the efforts of more than 10,000 firefighters, Northern California’s three big wildfires are still growing and resisting containment — and even forcing new evacuations.

The raging Mendocino Complex — consisting of the Ranch Fire and River Fire — led Lake County Sheriff’s officials to slightly enlarge their evacuation areas to make make sure all parts of Blue Lakes, Upper Lake, Nice, Lakeport, Witter Springs, Bachelor Valley, Scotts Valley and Saratoga Springs were evacuated.

Most of these areas have been evacuated since Saturday.

The River Fire, near Hopland, has consumed 35,278 acres and is about 50 percent contained, officials said. The Ranch Fire, outside Ukiah, has consumed 74,890 acres and is 33 percent contained.

Flames have consumed 14 residences and 24 other buildings, and the two blazes are being fought by 3,069 firefighters.

The Carr Fire west of Redding and the Ferguson Fire outside Yosemite National Park also continued to grow overnight.

On the Carr Fire, even as most evacuations in Redding were lifted, the fire continued to spread into rural and wilderness areas. The blaze has destroyed 125,842 acres and is 35 percent contained. More than 4,200 firefighters are battling the inferno. So far, 1,060 homes, 18 commercial buildings and 477 other structures have been destroyed.

Just west of Yosemite, some of the 3,344 firefighters battling the blaze worked through the night to contain spot fires outside of Wawona, a small town inside the park boundaries that was evacuated Thursday morning.

The fire grew by 5,727 acres overnight to 68,610 acres as of 6 a.m. Containment is at 39 percent. The fire has destroyed 10 structures, including nine abandoned houses found along a washed-out road.

The numbers reflect newly discovered homes that burned prior to Wednesday.

“Damage assessment teams can’t get out there until the fire is out,” said Michelle Eidam, a Ferguson Fire spokeswoman.

Source:  San Francisco Chronicle

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