Animation shows how Mendocino Complex Fire became California’s biggest fire ever
The bigger of the two Mendocino Complex blazes, the Ranch Fire has burned more than 300,000 acres and continues to threaten more than 1,000 structures, Cal Fire reports.
The Ranch Fire became the first California wildfire to reach the size milestone as of Monday evening’s update from Cal Fire. It spread an additional 5,000 acres overnight to reach 305,490 acres as of 7 a.m. Tuesday. Containment of the Ranch Fire, which is the largest wildfire in state history, grew from 59 percent to 68 percent during that span.
Cal Fire on Monday night confirmed the first fatality related to the Mendocino Complex Fire. Cal Fire at 10 p.m. reported that one firefighter working on the Ranch Fire was injured at the scene and later died at a nearby hospital.
The smaller River Fire reached 100 percent containment Monday, at a final size of 48,920 acres, and had no movement overnight, Cal Fire says. Together, the Mendocino Complex Fire has scorched 354,410 acres.
Tuesday’s fire containment efforts will continue to engage an “active fire front,” according to Cal Fire’s situation report.
Two firefighters have been injured in addition to Monday’s death, according to Cal Fire’s Tuesday morning incident report. No civilians have yet been reported injured or killed due to the fires.
The Mendocino Complex Fire has destroyed 265 structures and is threatening at least 1,025 more, according to Cal Fire.
The two fires started July 27 in Mendocino County. The Ranch Fire is burning northeast of Ukiah.
The cause of the fires is still under investigation, according to Cal Fire.