CalFire: Firefighter in Mendocino Complex Fire dies, River Fire 100% contained

Jeannie Matthews
August 15, 2018

Cal Fire shared the unlikely tale to Twitter on Saturday when they posted a photo of a perfectly happy looking pet fish.

As they battled the blaze, Californian firefighters and the Corning Police Department had taken time to feed the fish.

The Mendocino Complex Fire, which includes the River Fire and the Ranch Fire, has scorched a total area of more than 344,890 acres.

CAL FIRE officially lists two firefighter deaths in the blaze, though San Francisco ABC station KGO reported a third firefighter, Andrew Brake, was killed in a auto accident traveling to the fire. The deadly fire has burned for almost three weeks and killed eight people.

The complex is one of about 110 major wildfires burning across the western United States which have burned more than 8,900 sq miles (23,000 sq km), an area larger than the state of New Jersey, according to the National Interagency Fire Center. The fire spread quickly due to what officials said was a ideal combination of weather, topography and abundant vegetation turned into highly flammable fuel by years of drought. But most of that has been driven by the Ranch Fire, which has burned much more vigorously.

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"The significant challenge for the Ranch Fire is the terrain it's starting to burn into". The Carr Fire in Shasta and Trinity counties has so far resulted in eight deaths. The fire, which is roughly the size of Charlotte, North Carolina, was 59% contained as of Sunday morning.

On Monday Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke will visit Redding to review efforts to battle the Carr Fire.

"We've had a number of safety issues, in terms of, very large diameter trees that are falling and making it hazardous for crews", Park said.

Yosemite National Park will reopen Tuesday, 14 days after a wildfire choked the park with smoke at the peak of tourist season. They have worked long, hard hours to help save lives and property.

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