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46 posts
  • Resources
  • Yosemite fire
  • Cleveland National Forest fire
  • Mendocino Complex fire
  • Redding fire

Mendocino Complex fire (Lake County)

Size: 354,910 acres    Containment: 64%

Evacuations: Lucerne, Clear Lake, Stonyford and Pleasant Valley

Damage: 265 structures have been destroyed, 36 structures have been damaged and another 1,025 structures are threatened.

*As of 7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 14.

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Carr fire (Redding)

Size: 211,019 acres    Containment:  65%

Evacuations: Whiskeytown Park in Shasta County, and Trinity Dam at Trinity Dam Boulevard in Trinity County.

Damage: 1,599 structures have been destroyed, 282 structures have been damaged and 44 structures are threatened.

Deaths: Eight people have died in connection with the Carr fire. They include a Cal Fire mechanic, four Redding residents, a Redding firefighter, a bulldozer operator and a Pacific Gas & Electric utility worker.

*As of 7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 14.

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Ferguson fire (Yosemite)

Size: 96,606 acres    Containment:  87%

Closures: Yosemite Valley has reopened to visitors. Wawona and Mariposa Grove have re-opened.

*As of 7 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 14.

Holy fire (Orange County)

Size:  22,986 acres    Containment:  64%

Evacuations: Evacuations are now lifted for the Mystic Oaks, Glen Eden and Lake Elsinore Riverside communities. They are also lifted for residences beyond the pavement at Avocado Way and Mountain Street in Rice Canyon. Mandatory Evacuations remain in effect for Holy Jim, El Cariso Village, Blue Jay and Falcon campgrounds, Trabuco Canyon recreation residence tracts and Rancho Capistrano.

Damage: Twelve structures have been destroyed.

*As of 8 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 14

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  • Yosemite fire
Scott Gediman, public affairs officer for Yosemite National Park, stands in the Merced River next to Lower Pines camp.
Scott Gediman, public affairs officer for Yosemite National Park, stands in the Merced River next to Lower Pines camp. (Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)

Yosemite Valley was reopened for the first time in weeks on Tuesday morning, but some visitors may have been surprised to see a burning hillside along El Portal Road, a key entryway into the famed glacial valley.

Officials at Yosemite National Park had listed the official reopening time as 9 a.m., but a steady stream of light traffic began entering the valley hours earlier.

On Monday evening, helicopter crews worked steadily to stamp out the Ferguson fire as it burned along a hillside near the Merced River. They repeatedly maneuvered their buckets down into the river, avoiding nearby boulders and trees.

A Buddha statue sits outside a burned home in Spring Valley in California's Lake County.
A Buddha statue sits outside a burned home in Spring Valley in California's Lake County. (Getty Images)

Clarence Sibsey sat alone at a table in the Twin Pine Casino evacuation center, tired and dejected.

Once again, a fire was threatening his community and he had to leave home. Two years ago, he fled the massive Valley fire. Now he had been driven away by the Mendocino Complex fire, which at more than 340,000 acres is the biggest in California history.

“We’ve never had fires like this before,” Sibsey said. “Why now?”

  • Resources
Chief Kenneth Bettencourt of the U.S. Service Command animal rescue team looks for pets missing during a fire or other disaster.
Chief Kenneth Bettencourt of the U.S. Service Command animal rescue team looks for pets missing during a fire or other disaster. (K.C. Alfred)

Kenneth Bettencourt used to search for missing people and investigate homicides.

These days, he’s the guy you may call if your dog runs away.

“I’ve always loved animals, and when I retired in ’95, my wife said, ‘You’ve got to find something else to do,’” the former police detective said.

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  • Mendocino Complex fire
Firefighters battling the Mendocino Complex blaze monitor a burn operation on top of a ridge near the town of Ladoga on Aug. 7.
Firefighters battling the Mendocino Complex blaze monitor a burn operation on top of a ridge near the town of Ladoga on Aug. 7. (Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Time)

A firefighter died Monday battling the largest wildfire in recorded California history, marking the latest fatality in a fire season that has taken a grim toll on first-responders.

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said Monday evening that it was “deeply saddened” to report the death of a firefighter battling the Mendocino Complex fire.

The firefighter was not named, and authorities said “fact finding on the accident” is underway.

A tunnel view leading to the Yosemite Valley is clouded in smoke from the Ferguson fire.
A tunnel view leading to the Yosemite Valley is clouded in smoke from the Ferguson fire. (Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)

Although a break in the weather has provided firefighters a respite from the scorching heat that has complicated the fight against multiple wildfires in California, an alert warning of poor air quality remains in effect for much of the Central Valley, the National Weather Service said.

The San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District warned of poor air quality in Stanislaus, Merced, Madera, Fresno, Tulare, Kings and Kern counties, the east side of the San Joaquin Valley and the Sierra Nevada and foothill areas due to smoke from the Ferguson fire.

Air pollution control districts in Mariposa and Tuolumne counties have also issued air quality alerts, which will be in effect until the fire is extinguished. The Ferguson fire has scorched 96,457 acres and is 86% contained. The fire has also claimed the lives of a Cal Fire bulldozer operator and a captain of the Arrowhead Interagency Hotshots.

People watch as the Holy fire rages on a mountainside in Temescal Valley.
People watch as the Holy fire rages on a mountainside in Temescal Valley. (Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)

Mike Milligan had poor reception in the Holy Jim canyons and foothills when his phone buzzed with a confusing text message: “911 call sheriff.”

The sender was a longtime Trabuco Canyon resident named Forrest Gordon Clark, an eccentric figure well-known in the tightknit community as a troublemaker with a temper who had long clashed with his family and neighbors.

Concerned, the chief of the Holy Jim Volunteer Fire Department dialed Clark’s number, but the call failed.

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  • Resources
  • Yosemite fire
  • Cleveland National Forest fire
  • Mendocino Complex fire
  • Redding fire
  • Holy fire