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For Trey Rosenbalm and Ariana Altier, fighting the largest fire in California history takes more than just watching out for flames.

The Mendocino Complex fire is ravaging thick brush deep in the Mendocino National Forest, so getting close to the front lines to attack flames directly is almost impossible.

They hike several miles per day up steep slopes wearing hefty gear and carrying heavy bags of equipment on their backs. Then there's the wildlife they have to watch out for — rattlesnakes, scorpions and poisonous plants.

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As the Holy fire raged nearby and forced residents to flee their homes, the man accused of setting the 6,200-acre blaze sat in front of a news camera and said he had no idea how it started.

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In an otherwise deserted part of Clearlake Oaks, which was under a mandatory evacuation order, Nicole Young sat on the porch of a triple-wide lakefront mobile home with a couple of other holdouts.

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

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.