California's Largest Wildfire Has Finally Been Contained

The twin fires of the Mendocino Complex destroyed 280 structures, killed one firefighter and injured four other people.

A combination of wildfires that erupted north of San Francisco in July and were together deemed the largest fire in modern California history are now 100 percent contained.

The U.S. Forest Service released updated information about the Mendocino Complex fire on Wednesday morning, showing the 459,123-acre blaze ― roughly 720 square miles ― to have been fully contained.

More than 400 firefighters remain in the affected areas to “reduce erosion and other impacts from suppression activities,” the agency said.

The twin blazes ― dubbed the Ranch fire and the River fire ― destroyed 280 structures, including 157 residences, killed one firefighter and injured four other people. The cause of both fires is still under investigation.

In a tweet Wednesday, California state Sen. Mike McGuire expressed “extreme gratitude to all fire fighters & emergency personnel for their tireless work over these past many weeks.”

The Mendocino Complex became the largest fire in modern California history in early August, when it had chewed through more than 283,800 acres along the Mendocino National Forest.

“We broke the record,” Scott McLean, a deputy chief of Cal Fire, told The Los Angeles Times. “That’s one of those records you don’t want to see.”

Firefighters had predicted they would fully contain the blazes by mid-August ― but it took another month to do so.

The blazes erupted amid a number of other devastating fires in California this summer, including the Carr fire, which consumed 229,651 acres and killed seven people.

Ken Pimlott, Cal Fire director, warned in August that “fire season is really just beginning.”

“What seems like we should be in the peak of fire season, historically, is really now the kind of conditions we’re seeing really at the beginning,” Pimlott said at a news conference.

Four of the five largest wildfires in California history have occurred since 2012. Last year’s Thomas fire, which consumed 281,000 acres in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties, is now the state’s second-largest on record.