“Mendocino Complex Fire Still Burning”


Mia Jones, Staff Writer

 The Mendocino Complex Fire that has been going strong since July 27 has yet to be contained. The fire was said to have started in Mendocino County and has begun to move and start approaching the Snow Mountain Wilderness. Because of how large the complex fire is, it was separated into two separate fires: the Ranch Fire and the River Fire. The river fire is the smaller of the two but still just as dangerous. The cause of the Mendocino Complex Fire is currently still under investigation and there are unfortunately no leads on whether or not it may have been caused by someone of if it was just by nature.  


As of August 14th, over 366,037 acres of land have been destroyed, with that, 146 homes and 118 structures have also been destroyed. There has only been one fatality so far and he was a firefighter from Utah, but there have been several other injuries. Out of both fires (Ranch and River), Ranch has consumed over 225,000 acres of land so far and has jumped at least four creeks. However, River has consumed 50,000, and the River Fire has been contained rather than the Ranch fire that is still active. The Mendocino Complex Fire is not expected to be fully contained until September. This has now officially been said to be the largest fire in California history, beating out the Thomas Wildfire last December. Because of how large it is, ABC7news stated that “if it were a city it would be the fourteenth largest by area in the entire country.” It is also larger than Philadelphia, Houston, Chicago and New York. As the fire is continuing to move, residents all around the area have been allowed to return home, but they are still living in fear that another wildfire may start up because of all of the smoke and destruction left behind. Unfortunately, the residents of Mendocino, Lake, Glen and Colusa counties aren’t as lucky, as they are now in the middle of the expansion of the Mendocino Complex Fire.  

The containment of the fire is slowly increasing going from sixty seven to sixty nine percent over night. Although it starting to be contained is good news, Captain Cary Wright, a Cal Fire spokesman stated, “I don’t know if there’s enough aircraft in the country that can just continually drop retardant and water to put this fire out.” With that being said, ground crews are hopeful that starting firing operations to burn the fuel will help to contain the fire soon around August 22 and September 1 at the latest.