FIREFIGHTERS say they have made good progress battling California’s largest-ever wildfire – but they do not expect to have it fully under control until September.

The blaze north of San Francisco, known as the Mendocino Complex, has grown to the size of Los Angeles since it started two weeks ago, fuelled by dry vegetation, high winds and rugged terrain making it too dangerous for a total of 14,000 firefighters combat directly.

Crews, including trained prison inmates and firefighters from overseas, have cut lines around half the fire to contain the flames, which now span 470 square miles.

The blaze, around the resort region of Clear Lake, has destroyed 116 homes and injured two firefighters. The lines have kept the southern edge of the fire from spreading into residential areas on the east side of the lake.

However, fire services say the flames are out of control to the north, roaring into remote, unpopulated wooded areas and deep ravines as firefighters contend with record-setting temperatures.

The longer and more destructive wildfire season is due to drought, warmer weather linked to climate change and home construction deeper into the forests.

The Mendocino Complex, which will take months to put out, is one of 18 burning throughout the state. But experts warn this could be California’s toughest wildfire season yet, with the historically worst months still to come.