Animation shows how Mendocino Complex Fire became California’s biggest fire ever
Firefighters are nearing full containment on the Mendocino Complex Fire, the largest wildfire in California history, which has now been burning for more than a month.
The Ranch Fire was 90 percent contained as of late Monday, a full month after the fire started, Cal Fire said in an incident update. The River Fire has been fully contained.
Glenn County evacuations were lifted for residents Monday, leaving only Mendocino National Forest and Cow Mountain Recreational Areas closed to visitors, according to the incident report, which noted “good progress” on the Ranch Fire.
The massive two-fire complex, which affected Mendocino, Lake, Colusa and Glenn counties, has dwarfed previous record holders. The Ranch Fire, the larger of the two blazes that comprised the Mendocino Complex Fire, had reached 410,182 acres as of Monday evening. Last year’s Thomas Fire in Southern California was previously the largest recorded blaze in state history. It reached 281,893 acres in December.
The cause of the Mendocino Complex Fire, which started July 27, is still under investigation. The devastating blaze killed one firefighter and injured three others. It has also destroyed 280 structures, 157 of them residences, Cal Fire said.
Responders continue to work on fully containing the Ranch Fire, with firefighters focusing on firing operations of interior areas and reinforcing containment lines in the northeastern flank of the fire, the Cal Fire update said. Crews continue to work on building containment lines in the northwestern portion of the fire area.