Mendocino Complex Fire grows to 364,145 acres, procession held for fallen firefighter

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MENDOCINO NATIONAL FOREST, Calif. (KIEM) – The Mendocino Complex Fire acreage continues to skyrocket in dry conditions.

The raging Ranch Fire has the complex at 364,145 as of Wednesday evening, and is 67% contained.

On its own, the Ranch Fire is now considered the largest in state history.

The other half of the complex, the River Fire, on the other hand, is under control, and had no movement on Wednesday.

The real challenge tonight is the Ranch Fire, burning into the Mendocino National Forest, and threatening over 1,000 structures in communities its north perimeter.

Details on evacuations are available, here.

Also on Wednesday, a meaningful procession was held for a firefighter lost to the Mendocino Complex Fire.

Hundreds gathered in honor of Battalion Chief Matt Burchett, as his body was returned home to Utah from Northern California.

Burchett was killed after a tree fell on him while on duty in the Mendocino Complex Fire, and is the first firefighter killed battling the Mendocino Complex Fire.

Burchett was one of dozens of firefighters from Utah who left 12 days ago to help Mendocino Complex firefighters battle the massive blaze.

His supervisors said this was the kind of work Burchett excelled at, and he was at the  “top of his craft.”

Burchett was 42 years old. He leaves a wife and young son behind.