Mendocino Complex Fire approaches 300,000 acres as hot, dry winds continue

A firefighter douses flames while battling the Ranch Fire near Clearlake Oaks Calif. on Saturday

A firefighter douses flames while battling the Ranch Fire near Clearlake Oaks Calif. on Saturday

The Carr Fire, another active monster fire in Northern California, has the grim distinction of being one of the state's most destructive wildfires ever recorded.

He added: "Look how big [the fire] got, just in a matter of days".

Mandatory evacuations remained in effect across Mendocino, Lake and nearby Colusa counties, though some people were allowed to return home on Monday afternoon, Cal Fire said. The fire surrounds Clear Lake, which is the largest freshwater lake in the state, a vital habitat for fish and other wildfire and a spot for water sports enthusiasts.

The Mendocino Complex is technically two separate fires.

Further north in the state, the deadly Carr Fire has burned through more than 164,400 acres since July 23, and killed another seven people along the way. It's only 20 percent contained.

The Mendocino Complex was still growing as it broke the record set last December.

The weather forecast for the week ahead is not encouraging: very hot and very dry, the flawless conditions for the fires to expand. Blazing temperatures during the day have exacerbated the wildfire. Firefighters say they are making progress but the threat is far from over.

The Carr Fire fire has been blamed on the "mechanical failure of a vehicle", which caused sparks to fly in the extremely dry conditions.

Fire officials have condemned the presidents comments, saying that they are not in fact struggling to source enough water to contain the fires. In addition, "the rates of mortality from fire, insects, and disease are about three times as high on national forest lands as they are on private lands regulated under California's strict environmental laws", he said.

The SAFD hopes its crew will help in the fight, adding to the more than 4,700 fire personnel who are now battling the Carr Fire.

"We are committed to continuing to do everything we can to provide the firefighters, aircraft, engines, and other wildfire suppression assets that incident commanders need to protect lives, property, and valuable natural and cultural resources", said Dan Smith, chairman of NMAC. And these firefighters are are working through the night to stop the blaze.

Fred Greaves / Reuters A DC-10 air tanker drops fire retardant along the crest of a hill to protect the two bulldozers below that were cutting fire lines at the River Fire on Thursday.

Firefighters have gained significant momentum on the River Fire portion of the wildfire and will continue to work on containment efforts on the Ranch Fire throughout Tuesday.

In addition, 180 fire management specialists from Australia and New Zealand have now arrived in the USA, most assigned to work on fire fronts in California and the Pacific Northwest.

Another image of the California fires captured from orbit by NASA astronaut Ricky Arnold.

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