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Please spare me all the political patter about California burning being the “new normal.” It’s really getting old.

If the new normal means week after week of smoky skies blotching our once-beautiful state, I don’t want to hear about it. Seeing and smelling is depressing enough.

If it means thousands of homes constantly being incinerated and people dying in flames, California is headed into ruins.

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The Holy fire in the Cleveland National Forest pushed closer to some homes Wednesday, prompting a new round of mandatory evacuations.

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Just two days after President Trump issued an utterly uninformed tweet about the causes of the California wildfires, his ulterior motives began to come into focus.

  • Mendocino Complex fire

The Mendocino Complex fire is California’s largest wildfire on record, covering about 300,000 acres. It’s located around Clear Lake in Northern California and has mostly burned in wooded areas in hilly terrain.

But what does 300,000 acres look like? We mapped the fire over L.A. and New York to find out.

If it were in L.A., the fire’s perimeter would stretch from LAX to Pomona.

A man suspected of starting the Holy fire in Orange County has been arrested, Cleveland National Forest officials announced Wedesday.

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  • Mendocino Complex fire

Overnight the Mendocino Complex fire — made up of the Ranch and River fires — grew to over 300,000 acres, or about 469 square miles, according to Cal Fire.

About 15,000 people live in Clearlake, southeast of the fires. Another 4,700 people live in Lakeport. 

  • Resources

California had 18 active fires Wednesday morning.

The largest is the Mendocino Complex, which is made up of the Ranch and River fires. This week, it became the largest fire on record in California’s history. It has burned more than 300,000 acres.

By Wednesday morning, the fire was 47% contained.

Under a smoky haze, Larry Wiedey idled Tuesday in a parking lot outside a makeshift shelter at Mountain Vista Middle School in Lake County, where several fire refugees had set up cots and parked their cars.

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The smoke creeping up from a steep hillside near this small community 27 miles south of Yosemite Valley was a sure sign a spot fire was burning, hidden beneath the tall pine trees.

  • Resources
  • Yosemite fire
  • Cleveland National Forest fire
  • Mendocino Complex fire
A firefighter battles the River fire in Lake County.
A firefighter battles the River fire in Lake County. (Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)

Californians are being forced to evacuate as wildfires burn around the state. As of Thursday, state officials said more than 13,000 firefighters were battling 16 blazes that have forced more than 32,000 residents to evacuate.

If you’ve been asked to evacuate your home, we want to hear from you: What did you take with you, and why?