California’s August Complex Fire surpasses 1 million acres burned

Sawyers with the Billings IA, a Bureau of Land Management Initial Attack crew based in Billings, Montana, take a brief respite before they continue to prepare a road for burnout operations at the August Complex Fire, which became the first blaze in California's history to burn 1 million acres. Photo by Spc. Michael Ybarra/U.S. Army/UPI

Oct. 6 (UPI) — The August Complex Fire in California became the first blaze in the state’s history to burn more than 1 million acres.

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, or Cal Fire, on Monday said the fire had burned 1,002,097 acres in Colusa, Glenn, Lake, Mendocino, Tehama and Trinity Counties and was 54% contained since it began on Aug. 17.

The August Complex became the largest fire in the state’s history on Sept. 10, surpassing the 2018 Mendocino Complex Fire, which burned 459,123 acres.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom said during a press conference that the amount of land burned by the August Complex exceeds that of all recorded fires in the state from 1932 to 1999.

“If that’s not proof point, testament, to climate change, then I don’t know what is,” Newsom said.

In all, more than 8,300 wildfires, including the third-, fourth-, fifth- and sixth-largest all-time, have burned more than 4 million acres throughout the state, resulting in 31 deaths and the destruction of more than 8,687 structures, Cal Fire said.

Firefighters increased containment on the deadly Zogg Fire on Monday, as Cal Fire said it had burned 56,305 acres at 76% containment in Shasta County.

The blaze has resulted in four deaths and one injury in addition to destroying 203 structures and damaging 27 more.

The agency also said the Glass Fire, in Napa and Sonoma counties, had burned 65,580 acres and was at 30% containment.


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