California Wildfires Made Worse by Environmental Laws

KCRA Vicki Gonzalez									SOURCE KCRA Vicki Gonzalez

The city of Los Angeles, by comparison, is about 300,000 acres.

The Mendocino Complex fire is burning close to the shoreline of Clear Lake, the largest natural freshwater lake entirely within the state of California.

Firefighters by Saturday night had managed to contain 41% of the Carr blaze, measured at 58,680 hectares, and authorities were allowing some evacuees to return, Cal Fire said.

An inmate firefighter pauses during a firing operation as the Carr fire continues to burn in Redding, California on 27 July 2018.

The group in California includes 10 task force leaders, four structure protection specialists, six safety officers, four helicopter managers, two heavy equipment bosses, 15 division supervisors, 10 crew bosses and two liaison officers, Bilbao said. Another large fire that is still now uncontained, the Carr Fire, is climbing the list at number 12. "The current weather is causing more severe and destructive fires". Hundreds of structures have been damaged and 1,358 structures are now at risk, according to the latest estimates from Cal Fire.

The U.S. Forest Service reported that the fire crossed a highway Sunday evening, forcing crews to retreat from the fire's edge.

As for the western most section of the fire along Highway 20, "we're looking really good, and we're working on a plan for how we want to open Highway 20 and Hwy 29 so we can get traffic moving through there again". It has burned through 225,000 acres - almost twice its size on Friday. That's higher than the five-year average for the same seven-month period ― 3,405 fires over 118,811 acres. The Thomas Fire from 2017 is the largest, having burned 281,893 acres.

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According to Cal Fire, the Ranch Fire continues to grow in the north and south eastern directions, "threatening communities in the fire's path".

"Over the past 48 hours, fire has impacted all of the roads used to access Yosemite Valley, burning dead and downed trees that can become very explosive and fall without warning", according to the National Park Service.

At the same time, President Donald Trump blamed the state's environmental laws for the wildfires.

In his Sunday morning update, Blankenheim said while firefighters are succeeding in their battle to protect Scotts Valley in Lake County, the Ranch Fire did move into Long Valley Saturday.

"Governor Jerry Brown must allow the Free Flow of the vast amounts of water coming from the North and foolishly being diverted into the Pacific Ocean", Trump tweeted on Monday. It's unclear if this is directly connected to the fire, but PG&E has been doing work to rebuild and restring power lines in the areas where the fire hit, so it's entirely possible that a line may have been de-energized as part of this continuing work.

Head here for the latest information on evacuations and fire conditions for the Donnell Fire. On Sunday, firefighters worked around structures in the Lake Pillsbury area, clearing and creating lines around the residences.

The Mendocino Complex was still growing as it broke the record set last December.

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