State Watch

Wildfires have burned record 2 million acres in California this year

getty: Flames burn through dry grass as the LNU Lightning Complex fire moves through the area on August 19, 2020 in Winters, California.

Wildfires have burned 2 million acres in California this year, marking a state record as fire crews continue to put out fires across the state, officials told multiple outlets. 

The previous record was set in 2018, when 1.96 million acres burned in California the entire year. California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, or Cal Fire, told The Associated Press that the fact that the record was set so early into wildfire season is unnerving. 

“It’s a little unnerving because September and October are historically our worst months for fires,” Cal Fire spokesperson Lynne Tolmachoff told the AP. “It’s usually hot, and the fuels really dry out. And we see more of our wind events.”

According to Cal Fire, more than 12,000 lightning strikes in the past three weeks have sparked almost two dozen major fires. 

The fires have already destroyed homes and caused widespread power outages. Pacific Gas & Electric warned customers in central and northern California that power might be cut Tuesday because of the increasing danger of fires. 

On Monday the U.S. Forest Service closed eight national forests in California and put prohibitions on others. 

“Existing fires are displaying extreme fire behavior, new fire starts are likely, weather conditions are worsening, and we simply do not have enough resources to fully fight and contain every fire,” Randy Moore, regional forester for the Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service Pacific Southwest Region, said in a statement.

Tags California California wildfire wildfires

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