Even in a year of record wildfires, the August Complex Fire north of San Francisco is staggering.
The conflagration, located in hilly wooded land that includes the Mendocino National Forest, is now more than 60% bigger than the previous biggest blaze known to have hit the state, the deadly Mendocino Fire Complex that blackened 459,123 acres in the same area in 2018. For a chart listing the blazes, click here.
Extreme weather conditions has caused an increase in acreage for the #CreekFire, which has now grown to be the 16th largest wildfire in California history. 5 of the Top 20 largest wildfires in California History have occurred in 2020. Visit https://t.co/6s2QmGvwFi for more. pic.twitter.com/EENY1UCJql
— CAL FIRE (@CAL_FIRE) September 11, 2020
On Wednesday, the August Complex Fire had already become the biggest in California’s recorded history at 471,000 acres. Since then, it has grown to over 746,000 acres after merging with other large fires nearby.
The largest active fire on the August Complex is the Doe Fire, currently at 471,185 acres about24 percent contained. The Doe Fire is so big, it’s burning in five counties: Glenn County, Mendocino County, Lake County, Tehama County and Trinity County.
In the past 24 hours, the August Complex merged with — and now includes — the nearby Elkhorn Fire.
The Elkhorn merged into August Complex with todays update.
A truly unmatched fire in terms of scope.
— NWS Bay Area (@NWSBayArea) September 11, 2020
But the numbers alone do not tell the story.
On Wednesday, the North Complex Fire, which is about one-third the size of the August Complex, swept through the small town of Berry Creek, killing 10 people and leaving 16 missing.
Earlier on Thursday, California Governor Gavin Newsom toured the North Complex fire zone and, after what he saw, did not mince words.
Newsom called “BS” on climate deniers and said bluntly, “We’re in the midst of a climate emergency.”