White House can't -- or won't -- explain Trump's wildfire tweets

White House can't -- or won't -- explain Trump's wildfire tweets

White House can't -- or won't -- explain Trump's wildfire tweets

Comprised of the River and Ranch fires, the Mendocino Complex has now surpassed last year's Thomas Fire, which torched 281,893 acres in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties, as the largest fire in California history.

"Yes, we have plenty of water", CalFire Chief Scott McLean said by telephone, adding that the two largest blazes in California this week - the Carr Fire and the Mendocino Complex Fire - were each ringed by at least three major reservoirs.

A utility worker was killed near a Northern California wildfire as crews working in sweltering conditions battled multiple blazes, including twin fires that exploded in size and forced hundreds more to evacuate rural communities, officials said Sunday.

Some 200 soldiers from the 14th Brigade Engineer Battalion at Joint Base Lewis-McChord near Tacoma, Washington, have also been called in to help in one of the most destructive fire seasons on record. It continues to threaten 9,300 homes and structures in Lake, Mendocino and Colusa counties as almost 4,000 firefighters work to take hold of the aggressive flames. That fire started in the Cleveland National Forest and evacuations in the nearby areas have been ordered, according to the Orange County Fire Authority.

Two helicopters began dumping water, and several engines raced from the next valley, where the fire had jumped the line.

They have been dubbed the Mendocino Complex. Trump contended Monday that water could be used for "fires, farming and everything else".

In fact, another fire that made the list recently, the Soberanes Fire, has already been pushed off - even at more than 132,000 acres.

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Officials had set a target to extinguish the fire by mid-August, but they now say they will need until early September. The Mendocino Complex, which is 30 per cent contained, is still growing.

Experts say whichever approach Cal Fire takes, California firefighters are often more aggressive in trying to extinguish wildfires than those in other less-populated states.

The fire has destroyed dozens of homes and other buildings, and more than 11,000 structures remained threatened, the department said.

The president's comment comes after he said Sunday that too much water from the northern part of the state is being wasted by flowing into the Pacific Ocean.

For the latest updates about all California's wildfires, go to Cal Fire's "Incidents" page.

On Tuesday, administration officials declined to offer any clarity on Trump's series of tweets claiming environmental laws and water regulations in California are hampering the state's ability to fight the wildfires.

The second portion of Trump's tweet, that California "Must also tree clear to stop fire spreading!", is also confusing. Jerry Brown had written in his request to Trump for a presidential major disaster declaration.

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