CALIFORNIA — August 21, 2018 — Wildfires continue to wreak havoc across parts of California, destroying nearly a million acres of land, decimating thousands of houses, and killing multiple civilians and firefighters, according to multiple media outlets. As of August 20, smoke from the California wildfires was reported as far away as Ohio.
The Mendocino Complex fire, which began on July 27, is burning across four counties — Colusa, Glenn, Lake, and Mendocino — is already the largest wildfire in California’s wildfire-rich history. The Mendocino Complex fire is comprised of the Ranch and River fires, of which the River fire is completely contained, though it accounts for less than 15 percent of the complex fire. According to wildlife services, as of August 20, 177 structures have been destroyed, 47 have been damaged, and 1,050 remain threatened.
The Carr Fire, as of August 20, had destroyed 1,079 residents and damaged 190, as well as destroyed 22 commercial buildings and damaged 26 over 229, 651 acres since July 23. While the fire is 88 percent contained, it continues to be fueled by timber in the area. The fire also caused a rare and massive fire whirl, also known as a “fire tornado,” which caused wind-related damage in the areas surrounding the fire similar to a tornado. The National Weather Service equated the fire whirl to an EF3 tornado with 143 mile-per-hour winds.
The currently smaller Donnell, which began August 1, fire stretches over 31,743 acres and has destroyed 135 structures. Another 220 structures are still threatened, as the fire is only 51 percent contained.