Published: Tue, August 07, 2018
Worldwide | By Victor Meyer

PG&E employee killed while working near Carr Fire

PG&E employee killed while working near Carr Fire

NOAH BERGER via Getty Images Flames leap above a vehicle on High Valley Road as the Ranch Fire, part of the Mendocino Complex Fire, burns near Clearlake Oaks, California, on Sunday.

Cal Fire reported that a huge amount of resources have been concentrated on trying to get containment on the Carr Fire including 386 fire engines; 99 water tenders; 16 helicopters; 77 hand crews; 123 bulldozers; 4,674 personnel; and air tankers from throughout the state flying fire suppression missions.

The wildfires are "extremely fast, extremely aggressive, extremely risky", said Scott McLean, a deputy chief with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. "That's one of those records you don't want to see".

The second part of Trump's Sunday tweet - "Must also tree clear to stop fire spreading!" - seems to refer to the practice of thinning, by which land managers selectively cut down certain trees to improve the overall health of a forest.

"The idea that there isn't enough water is the craziest thing in the world", says Peter Gleick, president emeritus of the Pacific Institute for Studies in Development, Environment, and Security in Oakland.

Fifty-three of the almost 150 specialists who were requested by USA officials last week arrived at the Northern California Geographic Area Coordination Center in Redding on Monday, NIFC spokeswoman Carrie Bilbao said, while the remaining firefighters were sent to Redmond, Ore.

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The Mendocino Complex is now considered the sixth-largest wildfire in California history. "What seems like we should be in the peak of fire season, historically, is really now the kind of conditions we're seeing really at the beginning", said Pimlott. Its absence tells the story behind Trump's fire tweet: He has no idea what's causing the bushfires this season, no conception of how to fight them and no plan in place to alter the trend of more fires or more severity. That fire, which is now 43% contained, has destroyed more than 1,000 homes and burned over 160,000 acres.

The deadly Carr Fire, burning north of Mendocino in and around the city of Redding, claimed its seventh fatality, a Pacific Gas & Electric worker, on Saturday. The Carr fire has Whiskeytown Lake, Shasta Lake and Trinity Lake just to name a few water sources.

Further north, the Carr Fire has burned through more than 164,000 acres since 23 July and is 47% contained.

The US president has criticised Governor Jerry Brown and California's environmental laws on social media in recent days. "Despite personal loss in many cases, they've managed to not only keep open the Outpatient Clinic's doors, but travel deep into the community to ensure displaced veterans are receiving the care they need and deserve". The Mendocino Complex Fires, which have killed two people, have grown to a combined 273,664.

Another major fire also burning in Northern California, the Ferguson Fire, extended into its third week. It was 38 percent contained. The complex is now only a couple thousand acres shy of becoming the largest in state history, and it has done so in a remarkably brief period.

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