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Mendocino Fire continues to grow as California’s biggest blaze

Enormous wildfire is now largely contained, but still growing

Mendocino-Complex Fire In Northern California Grows To Largest Fire In State’s History Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

A week ago, the enormous Mendocino Complex Fire became the largest wildfire in California history. Over the last to days, it broke that record yet again.

Technically, the Mendocino Complex Fire is actually two fires with a common origin: The large and unruly Ranch Fire, and the smaller and less aggressive River Fire. Combined, the two burns have covered more area than any other wildfire in California history.

Although fire crews are close to beating back the disastrous conflagration, over the weekend the Ranch Fire grew to such enormous proportions that it’s now the state’s largest fire of all time—even without its accompanying River Fire.

As of Sunday night, Cal Fire estimates the Ranch Fire’s acreage at more than 287,000 acres burned. Previously the state record holder was the 2017 Thomas Fire, which covered a bit less than 282,000 acres.

The Ranch Fire grew nearly 30,000 acres since Friday. However, Cal Fire reports significant progress on firefighting efforts despite the surge, estimating as of Sunday that the Ranch Fire is now 62 percent contained.

The River Fire is more than 90 percent contained and should be tamed within a few days.

A Cal Fire press release notes that “hot weather and wind continue to drive the fire north in both directions.” The agency now estimates full containment of the Ranch Fire by the first of September.

Mendocino-Complex Fire In Northern California Grows To Largest Fire In State’s History Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

In all, the two Mendocino Fires have destroyed nearly 140 structures, and Cal Fire marks more than 1,500 as “threatened.”

The Lake County Sheriff’s Department reminded residents via social media about the current slate of mandatory evacuation orders:

Mandatory evacuation notice for all areas North of Highway 20, east of the Lake-Mendocino County Line, south of the Lake-Mendocino County Line, west of the Lake-Glenn County Line. This includes the areas of Lake Pillsbury, Elk Mountain Rd, Bear Creek, Pine Mountain, and the surrounding areas. Travel West to Potter Valley via Elk Mountain Road. Shelter is available at the Mendocino College Ukiah Campus.

For more on the status of wildfires across Northern California, consult Curbed SF’s current 2018 California Wildfire Map.