The Mendocino Complex Fire, twin wildfires about 100 miles north of San Francisco, is now the largest blaze recorded in California history, with 283,800 acres burned as of Monday evening and the fire only 30 percent contained. "We broke the record," said Scott McLean, a deputy chief with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire). "That's one of those records you don't want to see." The previous holder of the unwanted record was the Thomas Fire in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties late last year, with more than 281,000 acres singed, though the fire last summer in Santa Rosa and Northern California wine country was more destructive of property and lives.
Primed by years of drought, California has experienced four of its five worst wildfires on record since 2012. Currently, 18 fires are burning over a combined 559,000 acres in California, the Los Angeles Times reports. The deadliest so far has been the Carr Fire outside Redding, which has killed seven people and is 45 percent contained. Though bigger, the Mendocino Complex blaze has destroyed fewer structures so far; evacuations have been ordered in Mendocino, Lake and Colusa counties. Peter Weber