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California fire coverage: 18 blazes scorch 600,000 acres across the state

California fire coverage: 18 blazes scorch 600,000 acres across the state
Firefighters on the Mendocino Complex fire monitor a burn operation on top of a ridge near the town of Ladoga, Calif. (Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)

In early July, firefighters were battling two large blazes in Northern California and forecasters were warning of record heat and gusty winds that could stir up more trouble. Then the Holiday fire hit Santa Barbara County, destroying homes and forcing evacuations. In the middle of the month, the Ferguson fire west of Yosemite National Park doubled in size in one night, forcing crews to scramble to set up defenses. Then came the Cranston fire south of Idyllwild and the deadly Carr fire in Redding. By the end of July, wildfires across the state had killed eight people and scorched 200,000 acres.

As August began, the Mendocino Complex fire north of San Francisco exploded to 290,000 acres, making it the largest fire on record in California. Prolonged drought and extreme heat have made California ripe for dangerous fire conditions in recent months and years. Of the five largest wildfires in state history, four have occurred since 2012.

 
Felipe Montiel of San Marino fishes at Lake Elsinore with the Holy fire reflected on the water. Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times
LAKEPORT, CALIF. — TUESDAY, JULY 31, 2018: A barn is engulfed in flames as the River Fire spreads w
A barn is engulfed in flames as the River fire spreads with the wind near Hendricks Road in Lakeport, Calif. Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times
LADOGA, CALIF. — TUESDAY, AUGUST 7, 2018: Firefighters monitor a burn operation on top of a ridge n
Firefighters monitor a burn operation on top of a ridge near the town of Ladoga, Calif., Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times
LAKEPORT, CALIF. — WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 1, 2018: A starry night view of the smoke clouds rising from t
A starry night view of the smoke clouds rising from the Ranch fire burning in the Mendocino National Forest, as seen from in Lakeport, Calif., on Aug. 1, 2018. (Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times) Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times
LAKE ELSINORE, CALIF. — TUESDAY, AUGUST 7, 2018: Heavy smoke obscures the sun as a fire aircraft wo
Heavy smoke obscures the sun as a firefighting aircraft works the Holy fire burning in Cleveland National Forest above Lake Elsinore. Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times
LADOGA, CALIF. — TUESDAY, AUGUST 7, 2018: Firefighters monitor a burn operation near Ladoga, Calif.
Firefighters monitor a burn operation near Ladoga, Calif. Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times
LADOGA, CALIF. — TUESDAY, AUGUST 7, 2018: Firefighters monitor a burn operation on top of a ridge n
Firefighters monitor a burn operation on top of a ridge near the town of Ladoga, Calif. Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times
LAKEPORT, CALIF. — TUESDAY, JULY 31, 2018: A helicopter prepares to make a water drop near the ragi
A helicopter prepares to make a water drop near the raging River fire west of Lakeport, Calif. Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times
LAKEPORT, CALIF. — TUESDAY, JULY 31, 2018: Firefighters work to keep flames from the River Fire fro
Firefighters work to keep flames from the River fire from destroying a home as evening winds kick in near Lakeport, Calif. Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times
LAKE ELSINORE, CALIF. — TUESDAY, AUGUST 7, 2018: A DC-10 air tanker prepares to make a fire retarda
A plane prepares to make a fire retardant drop on the Holy fire burning in Cleveland National Forest. Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times
LAKEPORT, CALIF. — TUESDAY, JULY 31, 2018: Chickens watch as a home is destroyed by the River Fire
Chickens watch as a home is destroyed by the River fire in a neighborhood near Lakeport, Calif. Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times
LAKEPORT, CALIF. — TUESDAY, JULY 31, 2018: Firefighters monitor an oak tree at the site of a proper
Firefighters monitor an oak tree at the site of a property that was burned by the River fire near Lakeport, Calif. Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times
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