A record 4 million acres have burned in California this year. Fire officials said that more than 8,200 fires have consumed more than double the previous record.
The exact amount of land burned is still unknown, and rising, however, annual statistics from the department dating to 1987 show that 2020 has more than doubled the previous record. Firefighters, totaling more than 20,000, some coming from as far away as Israel, have responded to scores of major fires across the state this year. Thirty-one people have died in blazes in so far this year.
The largest, most destructive blazes have occurred since mid-August, when thousands of lightning strikes sparked dozens of fires in Northern California, including the largest wildfire in state history, the nearly 1 million-acre August Complex fire, which is burning across six counties.
Cal Fire said Sunday that the fire has killed one person and destroyed 159 structures. It was 51 percent contained. –NBC News
The Glass fire also created a major problem for those north of San Francisco. Thousands of firefighters continue battling the fire that roared through wine country September 27. More than 36,000 people remain under mandatory evacuation orders in Sonoma and Napa counties Sunday, Cal Fire Deputy Chief Jonathan Cox said. As 12 teams continued surveying damage from the Glass Fire, the number of homes and businesses that have been destroyed rose to 564, Cox said. The teams have surveyed about 50 percent of the area, he said.
These fires have been devastating to those living in California and the smoke has traveled far. The grey smoky haze coating much of the west – from Portland, Oregon, to Santa Barbara, California, has created hazardous conditions that public health officials are concerned will have an impact even after the smoke clears. Researchers at Stanford University attributed roughly up to 3,000 additional deaths in California to just one month of the wildfire smoke, especially for at-risk or elderly people, according to The Guardian.