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Largest wildfire in California history still growing

07 August 2018

Another major wildfire is tearing through California and it's growing at a phenomenal pace.

Since being ignited on 27 July they have devastated 283,000 acres (443.4 square miles).

"Unfortunately, they're not going to get a break anytime soon", National Weather Service meteorologist Brian Hurley said of firefighters who had cut buffer lines around 30 per cent of the blaze as of Monday.

Aerial view of Trabuco Canyon as a tanker aircraft dumps load onto Holy Fire, Near Santiago Peak, California, U.S., August 6, 2018 in this still image taken from a video obtained from social media.

A new fire erupted Monday in Orange County, south of Los Angeles, and prompted the evacuation of two canyons and some campgrounds as it expanded into the Cleveland National Forest.

With blazes continuing to ravage the state, we set out on a fact check. It doesn't mean that the fires have necessarily joined - and in the case of the Mendocino Complex Fire, the River Fire and the Ranch Fire have yet to meet.

The Carr Fire, another active monster fire in Northern California, has the grim distinction of being one of the state's most destructive wildfires ever recorded. Seven people were killed and more than a thousand homes were destroyed.

Late Monday, the wildfires known as the Mendocino Complex, became the state's largest wildfire in history.

A hillside smolders after flames passed through during the Ranch Fire in Clearlake Oaks, Calif., on Sunday, August 5, 2018. Fueled by high temperatures, low humidity and wind, the fire has destroyed almost 170 homes and other structures, according to The Washington Post. Conservatives have blamed poor environmentalist policies over the last four decades for exacerbating wildfires. Farther north, the Carr Fire is surrounded by multiple bodies of water from different directions: Shasta Lake to the east, Trinity Lake to the west and the Sacramento River snaking across the nearby city of Redding, to name a few. That can range from anything from a spark from a vehicle that catches fire in dry brush nearby, to, in extreme cases, arson.

Experts have said this has meant fires spreading more quickly from rural areas to urban developments.

What are firefighters doing to stop the Mendocino Complex Fire?

Meanwhile, firefighters are battling more than a dozen other major fires amid California's hot and dry weather. Another 11,300 structures remain threatened, according to Cal Fire.

"There are also significant terrain hazards for firefighters". The Thomas Fire scorched a much more densely populated area, burning through 1,063 structures and damaging 280 more.

But that's "a totally separate issue" from fire management, said William Stewart, a forestry specialist at the University of California at Berkeley.

Largest wildfire in California history still growing