Thick smoke and ash spewing from the fire prompted air quality warnings. At least 3221 personnel continue to fight both fires in the Mendocino Complex. Zinke last week penned an op-ed for USA Today outlining what he calls a proactive approach to fighting fire by utilizing among other steps, tree thinning and prescribed burns. It is still at 61 percent containment at 61 percent containment at over 201,000 acres.
Meanwhile, firefighters made significant progress trying to tamp down a wildfire that threatened homes and has been raging for days south of Los Angeles, officials said Saturday.
The Ranch Fire, which achieved the dubious record of becoming the state's largest fire in its own right yesterday, remains particularly active in the northwestern portion of the fire, in the Lake Pillsbury area, where winds and fire activity picked up yesterday.
"What we're seeing in California right now is more destructive, larger fires burning at rates that we have historically never seen", Cal Fire spokesman Jonathan Cox said.
The unidentified firefighter was killed yesterday while battling the Ranch Fire, one of two blazes that make up the Mendocino Complex, which has already burned about 349,000 acres, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) said.
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Crews have been able to cut containment lines around 68% of the northern California fire, Cal Fire said. It has burned a combined 336,399 acres and injured two firefighters. Crews are working to establish contingency dozer lines in advance of the fire's possible movement north further into the Mendocino National Forest.
In Southern California the Holy Fire, which authorities say was set on August 6 by a disgruntled homeowner in an Orange County canyon, was 52 percent contained after torching more than 22,000 acres (8,900 hectares) and destroying a dozen cabins.