CLEARLAKE OAKS: Two fires mercilessly roaring through northern California have grown so rapidly that they are now the largest ever to ravage the state, authorities said.
Collectively dubbed the Mendocino Complex, the wildfires have burned through 283,800 acres (114,850 hectares) – an area nearly the size of the sprawling city of Los Angeles – and are just 30 percent contained, according to state fire authority CalFire.
Two people have died in the inferno, taking to 11 the number of people killed by major fires that broke out last month and are still ongoing.
“Today a higher pressure system brought warmer weather, drying, and strong winds to the region,” CalFire said in an update.
“Tonight fire crews will try to … increase suppression and hold current containment lines.”
It was the second fire to break records in the fire-prone, most populous US state in as many years, following the Thomas Fire in December 2017, which destroyed 281,893 acres.
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.
Its intensity was so great at one point, that it generated a tornado-like fire storm – as well as its own weather system.
Authorities say it was triggered by the “mechanical failure of a vehicle” that caused sparks to fly in tinderbox-dry conditions.