The wildfire burning on federal land north of Sacramento is the largest in modern California history. Even so, it’s still growing.
This massive August Complex fire has so far burned more than 471,000 acres.
It has also surpassed the 2018 Mendocino Complex Fire, which burned over 459,000 acres.
In a report, Gov. Gavin Newsom said over 3.1 million acres have burned in California this year.
August Complex Fire blaze got the name after 37 cluster blazes combined, Forest Service spokesman Terry Krasko said. And lightning in Mendocino National Forest sparked the fire, he added.
He also said that while firefighters have put out many small fires, larger parts of the blaze continue to grow.
Federal officials say triple-digit temperatures and offshore gusts gave the fire a growth spurt. The forecast in the area calls for calmer winds and cooler high temperatures in the high 80s and low 90s.
The officials also said that thunderstorms, which sparkled the blaze, may return.
As of now, one firefighter has died fighting the blaze. It has also destroyed 26 structures, according to Cal Fire.
Cal Fire said:
“This year’s fire season has hit the record books, with more acres burning in 2020 than any other year in the past 3 decades.”
“2020 has taken the number one spot for acres burned. And there are still several months to go!”
Since the wildfires started across California, 29 major wildfires have forced more than 64,000 people to evacuate.
In Northern California, around 20,000 residents in Plumas, Butte, and Yuba counties had to flee the North Complex fires. This particular blaze exploded in size to 254,000 acres overnight.
Meanwhile, California wildfires have killed 12 people in the last month, from San Diego County to Siskiyou County.
Apart from August Complex Fire, two other fires in the state have also made their way into historical records.
The SCU Complex fire east of the Bay Area is now No. 3 at 396,000 acres, while the North Bay LNU fire is No. 4. It had burned over 363,000 acres.
At least 17 of the 20 largest fires in state history have raged on federal land: For example, national forests and Bureau of Land Management property.
And California Governor blames the current onslaught of wildfires on climate change.
“CA has invested more in wildfire prevention than any time in our history. Enacted bold climate policies. But it’s not enough.”
“We must do more. We need action at EVERY level. CA cannot do this alone. Climate change is REAL.”