SAN FRANCISCO: Wildfires have burned an unprecedented swath of California this year, scorching nearly 4 million acres an area larger than Connecticut and killing 31 people, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.
Previously, California’s worst year of fire was 2018, when more than 1.8 million acres were burned and more than 100 people were killed, according to the National Interagency Coordination Center. Wildfires in U.S. Northern California are still surging while firefighters continue to make progress in containment, according to the updates by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire).
The August Complex, the largest fire in California’s history, was 979,386 acres (3,963 square km) in size with 51 percent containment, Cal Fire reported Saturday morning. The Zogg Fire in Shasta and Tehama counties grew slightly overnight to 56,305 acres (228 square km), Cal Fire said. The fire had killed four people and destroyed 179 buildings, and was 57 percent contained.
On Friday evening, two inmate firefighters were injured fighting the Zogg Fire, Cal Fire reported Saturday. The Creek fire in Fresno, Madera counties was 312,063 acres (1,263 square km) in size and 49 percent contained, according to Cal Fire.
Cal Fire has downgraded evacuation orders to warnings in three areas in San Mateo County affected by the CZU Lightning Complex fire, which has been fully contained.
Moreover, the weather forecast for the next few days and into next week doesn’t provide much hope for fire-ravaged California.
So even though two of the largest fires in California’s history are now fully contained, firefighters are still battling two other blazes that have scorched more than 100,000 acres and no relief is in sight. High heat is expected in Southern California, including Los Angeles and San Diego on Friday.
And strong winds along with the heat and dry conditions will make for elevated fire conditions, according to CNN’s meteorologist Rob Shackelford.
The SCU and LNU lightning Complex Fires that are now contained were the third and fourth largest wildfires in California’s history, charring an area close to the size of Rhode Island. They burned for more than six weeks before firefighters were able to bring them to 100% containment.
Now, two major wildfires are raging out of control in Northern California. The Glass Fire has scorched more than 60,000 acres and the Zogg Fire has burnt more than 55,000 acres and killed at least four people. The causes of both fires are under investigation.