FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) — Wildfires across California have burned a record 4 million acres in 2020.
According to Cal Fire, that is more than double the previous record that was set in 2018.
Since CAL FIRE officially began recording state responsibility fire figures in 1933, all large fire years have remained well below the 4 million acre mark for acreage burned, until now. This year is far from over and fire potential remains high. Please be cautious outdoors. pic.twitter.com/IkwjSqEeVo
— CAL FIRE (@CAL_FIRE) October 4, 2020
More than 16 thousand firefighters are battling over two dozen large fires across the Golden State.
The Glass Fire, which began on September 27, has grown to nearly 66 thousand acres and it is 50% contained.
The Zogg Fire, which started on September 27, has burned over 56 thousand acres, killed 4 people and it is 76% contained.
A storm system that brought little rain to northern California produced more than 11,000 lightning strikes in the middle of August.
Due to extreme heat and severely dry conditions, the lightning strikes sparked more than 300 blazes which makes up the August Complex fire.
As of Tuesday, the August Complex has become the first million-acre fire in California history, it is the largest in the state’s history and it is 58% contained.
#AugustComplex, burning across five counties in northern Coast Ranges, has become California's first modern "#megafire." This complex of individual fires, which have burned together into contiguous burn area, now spans 1 million acres--larger than state of Rhode Island. #CAfire pic.twitter.com/M1LzyqMR3I
— Daniel Swain (@Weather_West) October 5, 2020
The SCU lightning complex fire became the third largest wildfire in California history and the LNU lightning complex fire became the fourth largest wildfire.
Both have been contained but the SCU and LNU lightning complex fires have scorched an area nearly the size of Rhode Island
All but three of the Top 20 Largest #Wildfires have occurred since 2000, with 5 of these large & damaging wildfires occurring just this year. As we enter the fall season, which is known to have the largest wildfires, we want to remind everyone that now is the time to be prepared. pic.twitter.com/DAHEiLq4mO
— CAL FIRE (@CAL_FIRE) October 1, 2020
According to Cal Fire, 31 people have died due to the wildfires in 2020 and more than 8 thousand structures have been destroyed.
Meteorologists say the weather pattern will change from high heat to cooler temperatures across northern California this week.
They are tracking widespread rain late in the week and into the weekend to hopefully bring relief to the area.
Good news! The pattern change is still on track to bring cooler temperatures to #NorCal late this week into the weekend. Widespread rain is possible across the area, though specific amounts & locations remain uncertain at this time. Keep an eye out for forecast updates! #CAwx pic.twitter.com/CPDtzLZHMT
— NWS Sacramento (@NWSSacramento) October 5, 2020