January 18, 2019, 2:03

The Latest: No containment of Southern California wildfire

The Latest: No containment of Southern California wildfire

The Latest on California wildfires (all times local):

8 a.m.

Crews are using aircraft to try to control a raging forest fire south of Los Angeles.

There is no containment Tuesday morning of the blaze churning through the Cleveland National Forest.

Aircraft are dropping retardant across ridgelines to keep fire from racing down hillsides toward residential communities.

Flames that erupted Monday have scorched more than 6 square miles (16 square kilometers) of dry brush and timber. Two rural canyons and some campgrounds have been evacuated.

No homes are immediately threatened but officials warn that smoke could blanket neighborhoods and create unhealthy conditions.

Firefighters are working in rugged terrain amid scorching temperatures that have prompted warnings about excessive heat and extreme fire danger for much of the region.

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7:15 a.m.

One of two wildfires burning miles apart in Northern California grew overnight, scorching dry vegetation in rugged terrain.

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said Tuesday the blaze burning in Mendocino, Lake and Colusa counties has scorched 378 square miles (979 square kilometers). It’s only 20 percent contained.

But fire crews made progress against the other blaze, which is now 78 percent contained.

Late Monday, the wildfires known as the Mendocino Complex, became the state’s largest wildfire in history.

Officials say together the blazes about 100 miles (259 kilometers) north of San Francisco have charred 455 square miles (1,178 square kilometers).

That surpasses a wildfire last year in Southern California that burned 440 square miles (1,140 square kilometers).

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12:00 a.m.

Northern California is grappling with the largest wildfire in California history, breaking a record set only months earlier.

Experts say this may become the new normal as climate change coupled with the expansion of homes into undeveloped areas creates more intense and devastating blazes.

On Monday, twin fires north of San Francisco burning just miles apart became the largest collective wildfire in state history after destroying more than 443 square miles of forest and rural areas. That’s nearly the size of Los Angeles.

The so-called Mendocino Complex fire is only a couple of square miles larger than a deadly blaze last December but it’s still growing.

Officials say the twin fires threaten 11,300 buildings.

In all, more than 14,000 firefighters are battling major blazes throughout California.

Source: abcnews.go.com

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