USA – More than 14,000 firefighters are battling 29 fires from San Diego to the Oregon border, according to the California Department of Fires and Forestry Protection.
The governor’s office noted that this time last year, California had 4,927 fires that burned 118,000 acres. As of Friday, there have been 7,718 blazes so far and more than 3.15 million acres — about the same size as Connecticut — have been torched.
California’s 2020 fires have also damaged or destroyed 6,391 structures and killed 20 people as of Friday.
The Mendocino Complex fire passed the 2018 Mendocino fire (459,000 acres) as the largest wildfire in state history. It has burned more than 471,000 acres as of Friday and is just 24% contained.
Two other fires burning in 2020 are now the third and fourth biggest in state history.
You can see an update on all the fires in the state at the Cal Fire site here.
Cal Fire’s website posted the following:
“While wildfires are a natural part of California’s landscape, the fire season in California and across the West is starting earlier and ending later each year. Climate change is considered a key driver of this trend. Warmer spring and summer temperatures, reduced snowpack, and earlier spring snowmelt create longer and more intense dry seasons that increase moisture stress on vegetation and make forests more susceptible to severe wildfire.
“The length of fire season is estimated to have increased by 75 days across the Sierras and seems to correspond with an increase in the extent of forest fires across the state.”