Published: Tue, August 07, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

No, California didn’t worsen wildfires by dumping water into ocean

No, California didn’t worsen wildfires by dumping water into ocean

"Honestly, the way the state manages its water, that really has no bearing on the explosive growth of the fires", said Glen MacDonald, a geography professor at the University of California Los Angeles who studies wildfires.

Since being ignited on 27 July they have devastated 283,000 acres (443.4 square miles).

It is only 30 percent contained so far, with authorities warning it could take another week to get the blaze under control.

They have been dubbed the Mendocino Complex.

Gleick continued: "California's forests are burning because of past severe drought and current extreme temperatures and weather, worsened by human-caused climate change, which you think, in your fantasy world, doesn't exist". "The overload of dead and diseased timber in the forests makes the fires worse and more deadly".

The fire is compromised of the Ranch and River fires, two separate conflagrations that has merged, and is continuing growing.

"Over 10,000 structures are threatened by these fires and 2,000 fires have been destroyed".

In addition, Cal Fire has been engaged in a clearance operation since the fires began to halt their advance; one of the fatalities recorded was a bulldozer operator engaged in clearing operations when his bulldozer slipped.

More than 14,000 firefighters were battling the blazes across the state, which has lost another 918 square miles already this year.

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California has been ravaged by destructive and deadly wildfires burning up and down the state.

NOAH BERGER via Getty Images The Ranch Fire, part of the Mendocino Complex Fire, crests a ridge as Battalion Chief Matt Sully directs firefighting operations on High Valley Rd. near Clearlake Oaks, California, on Sunday. The fire surrounds Clear Lake, which is the largest freshwater lake in the state, a vital habitat for fish and other wildfire and a spot for water sports enthusiasts. Conservatives have blamed poor environmentalist policies over the last four decades for exacerbating wildfires. The Cedar fire in 2003, now the third-largest, devoured 273,246 acres in San Diego County, according to Cal Fire records.

What are firefighters doing to stop the Mendocino Complex Fire?

Almost 4,000 fire personnel, including 441 fire fighters, were battling the wildfire.

"The soldiers will be outfitted with wildland fire Personal Protective Equipment and all of the gear they will need to serve as wildland firefighters", U.S. Northern Command said in a statement.

A number of air tankers have been used as well to drop fire retardant, as well as 15 helicopters to help dump water in the area.

The largest ever until Monday had been the Thomas Fire in December 2017.

"There are also significant terrain hazards for firefighters".

"California is going through a really heartbreaking fire season right now", he added.

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