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More than 4 million acres of California has burned in wildfires this year, a record more than double the state’s previous record for the most area burned in a single season, a Cal Fire spokesman said Sunday.

Scott McLean told The Associated Press that the amount of area burned will continue to grow until firefighters get a handle on the state’s currently-burning wildfires in Napa, Fresno and other counties.

“The 4 million mark is unfathomable. It boggles the mind, and it takes your breath away,” he said, adding: “And that number will grow.”

A request for confirmation from The Hill on the total amount of ground burned was not immediately returned Monday; Cal Fire’s website still indicated Monday morning that the burned amount totaled 3.7 million acres.

In a news conference Sunday, a second Cal Fire official added that firefighters had been granted a reprieve from hazardous weather conditions in recent days that had been blamed for further spreading the blazes while inhibiting efforts to control them.

“We are seeing some relief in the weather, but it’s going to be three or four days before it really makes a difference on the fire,” Cal Fire meteorologist Tom Bird said, according to the AP. “The one good thing going forward, we’re not expecting any wind events to push into the fire.”

Lightning strikes that occurred amid high winds and low precipitation have been blamed for many of the state’s fires, while one still-burning blaze, the El Dorado fire, is thought to have been sparked by an explosive device used at a gender reveal party.


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