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Northern California Wildfires Combine To Form Largest Fire In The State

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SAN FRANCISCO (CBSMiami) - Two raging wildfires in northern California have combined to become the largest in the state.

The Mendocino complex, north of San Francisco, is being fueled by hot, windy weather and dry vegetation.

"If anything, over the next couple days, this is bad news, the heat dome is actually going to expand and conditions will get hotter and dryer across California," said meteorologist Jeff Berardelli.

The fire has already destroyed more than 150 structures and threatens thousands more. Officials don't expect to have it fully contained until next week.

A record 14-thousand firefighters are battling over a dozen fires throughout California.

In Southern California, hikers in Cleveland National Forest were rescued after a fast-moving fire erupted Monday. One resident had to run for his life.

"So I see a little smoke, we better go down there so we rush down there in a car and we get to the helicopter pad and the fire is already flamed across the road so we couldn't cross," said Tilson Schumate.

Two firefighters there were also treated for heat exhaustion.

Parts of Yosemite National Park are closed after high winds pushed the fire past containment lines over the weekend.

"We know this is a disappointing and challenging time for our visitors that have planned trips sometimes years in advance," said park ranger Jamie Richards.

Sacramento health officials are advising residents to avoid outdoor activities for the entire week because the smoke is so thick.

President Donald Trump weighed in on the fires. He blamed "environmental laws which aren't allowing massive amounts of readily available water to be properly utilized." Experts say that's not the issue and they've always had plenty of water to fight the flames.

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