MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Having trouble imagining the scale of the wildfires raging in California? Just imagine most of the Twin Cities metro – including all of Minneapolis and St. Paul – blackened.

And that’s just the size the largest wildfire that crews are struggling to control in the Golden State.

On Wednesday, the National Weather Service Twin Cities posted a map on social media, giving Minnesotans an image of what the Mendocino Complex fire would look like it if started in the metro area. The image shows an area of destruction stretching from Maple Grove to Maplewood.

So far, the Mendoncino blaze, which is now the largest wildfire ever recorded in California history, has burned more than 290,000 acres, destroying 116 residences and threatening thousands of other structures.

The massive fire, which is burning in a rural area northwest of Sacramento, is only about 50 percent contained.

About 14,000 firefighters, some from as a far away as New Zealand, are working to combat the Mendocino fire and the 17 other wildfires that are burning across the state, blackening fields, destroying national forest land and threatening neighborhoods.

Already, this is year is on track to be the worst one for wildfires in California history. Indeed, the typical worst months for wildfires are still yet to come.

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