Monday, Oct 15, 2018
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Twin California fires largest in state's history

Authorities say twin blazes rapidly spreading in Northern California have become the state's largest wildfire in recorded history

  • APTOPIX-California-Wildfires-2-2

    A U.S. Air Force plane drops fire retardant on a burning hillside in the Ranch Fire in Clearlake Oaks, Calif., on Sunday.

    ASSOCIATED PRESS

  • APTOPIX-California-Wildfires-84

    A spotter plane banks in front of an air tanker as it drops fire retardant on a burning hillside during the Ranch Fire in Clearlake Oaks, Calif., on Sunday.

    ASSOCIATED PRESS

  • APTOPIX-California-Wildfires-1-5

    A helicopter drops water on a burning hillside during the Ranch Fire in Clearlake Oaks, Calif., on Sunday.

    ASSOCIATED PRESS

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LAKE FOREST, Calif. — Authorities say twin blazes rapidly spreading in Northern California have become the state’s largest wildfire in history.

The fires burning a few miles apart and known as the Mendocino Complex ignited July 27 and encompass an area the size of Los Angeles. It’s the second straight year that California has recorded the state’s largest wildfire.

Officials said Monday that the flames about 100 miles (259 kilometers) north of San Francisco grew to 283,800 acres (443.4 square miles or 1,148.4 square kilometers).

That surpasses a wildfire last year in Southern California that burned 281,893 acres (440.5 square miles or 1,140.8 kilometers). That one killed two people and destroyed more than 1,000 buildings.

The new fire has burned 75 homes. It is mostly burning in remote areas but has forced thousands of people to evacuate.

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