Pair of Northern California blazes now largest in state history

07 August, 2018, 11:37 | Author: Bert Pena
  • North California wildfires expand to more than two-thirds the size of LA

Of the two fires that makeup the Mendocino Complex Fire, the River Fire, which has burned over 48,000 acres, has the largest containment, sitting at 58 percent contained. All are at or near their historical levels.

More than 14,000 firefighters are battling over a dozen major blazes throughout California, state Department of Forestry and Fire Protection spokesman Scott McLean said. No injuries or deaths among firefighters or civilians have been reported.

A day later he posted another tweet about water being "diverted", and he said Gov. "There's absolutely no shortage".

But there are increasing successes in the battle against this blaze. Trump contended Monday that water could be used for "fires, farming and everything else". That's irrigation supply diverted from the San Joaquin-San Francisco Bay Delta. The diversion of water away from rivers and into agricultural lands has allowed the state's farmers to flourish, but it also has destroyed critical habitat for salmon and other species.

"California wildfires are being magnified & made so much worse by the bad environmental laws which aren't allowing massive amounts of readily available water to be properly utilized", Trump said.

The US president has criticised Governor Jerry Brown and California's environmental laws on social media in recent days.

The White House did not respond to requests to clarify Trump's tweets. We have plenty of water to fight these fires.

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Or he may be referring to state and federal laws aimed at controlling emissions of greenhouse gases or protecting endangered species. "And I'm not aware of any situation in which those conflicts have restricted the availability of water for firefighting purposes".

For his part, Trump in recent years has called climate change a "con job" and a "myth".

It is not the first time active-duty troops from JBLM have been sent to help with California wildfires. But that has not stopped Trump from calling out Brown by name. "We had some very erratic fire conditions and it actually crossed the dozer lines and made a hard push, (but) we were able to stop it at Bear Creek Road" and create solid dozer lines on the east section of the fire.

If Trump means "tree clear" to mean more logging, then he's merely putting his oar in for more commercial exploitation of the forests.

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has long argued for better forest management policies. The suppression of smaller fires over the decades, in part to protect residences that have encroached into woodland, has increased the opportunities for bigger fires to take hold.

Elsewhere in California, evacuations were ordered for cabins in Cleveland National Forest canyons in Orange County on Monday afternoon after a blaze broke out and quickly spread to blacken some 700 acres (283 hectares).

Water, used in protecting homes and other structures and for dumping on flames from airplane tankers and helicopters, is critical but secondary to the larger manual efforts of clearing unburned vegetation to remove it as potential fuel around a fire's perimeter.

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