The largest fire in California history surpassed the million-acre barrier on Monday, becoming the first forest fire to exceed that amount.
The August Complex fire, which started as a series of smaller fires in the Mendocino National Forest, northwest of Sacramento, has been active for a month and a half and is only 54% contained, according to the latest Department update. California Forest and Fire Protection (Cal Fire)
In a statement, Cal Fire spokeswoman Christine McMorrow explained that the priority for the week will remain in the northeast area of the fire, which still shows “active fire behavior”, a cause for concern as it is a region close to an area. inhabited.
At least 3,900 public officials have been assigned to the August Complex, including air and ground crews from Cal Fire and the U.S. Forest Service, as well as 138 National Guard personnel.
At least 31 people have died in the fires and 8,200 structures have been destroyed, according to official data, while tens of thousands of people have been displaced as evacuation orders remain in effect in multiple counties.
An unprecedented amount of smoke emanates from the more than twenty active fires in different parts of the state, and the Californian air has been registering very poor quality levels for weeks, so much that some days they become harmful to people’s health.
The San Francisco Bay area, for example, maintains an alert active until at least Friday so that its neighbors avoid any outdoor activity as much as possible, since the large amount of accumulated smoke represents a danger to health.
California is experiencing the worst year in its history in 2020 in terms of number of fires and burned area, and authorities warn that the fire season could still last two more months, since October and November are traditionally the worst of the year in this sense.
In total, more than four million acres have already been burned in California.