California reached another alarming milestone Monday in its historic wildfire season: A single fire has burned 1 million acres.
The August Complex, which has spread into seven counties since sparking Aug. 17, is larger than the combined total of all of the state’s wildfires from 1932 to 1999, Gov. Gavin Newsom said. It has destroyed or damaged nearly 250 structures, according to Cal Fire.
This comes a day after fire officials said this year’s wildfires have burned more than 4 million acres — more than double the previous record.
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“If that’s not proof point, testament, to climate change, then I don’t know what is,” Newsom said.
The Northern California blaze, which began as a series of fires ignited by lightning in the Mendocino National Forest, became the state’s largest wildfire last month, with officials warning that it will likely merge with the Zogg Fire near Redding.
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“It’s likely the Zogg Fire may make its way into the August Complex, (which) remains the largest wildfire in terms of total acreage burned in California’s history,” Newsom said last week.
As of Monday afternoon, the August Complex was 54% contained.
Fire crews have made progress against the Zogg Fire, which started Sep. 27. Containment was at 80% Monday night, the second straight day the blaze has not grown in acreage.
The Zogg Fire has killed four people, destroyed 204 buildings,and burned 56,305 acres. The cause is still unknown, according to Cal Fire.
In the wine country, fire officials on Monday lifted some evacuation orders in Sonoma County, where the Glass Fire has charred 66,840 acres. It was 41% contained.
More than 1,230 buildings have been destroyed, including wineries and beloved landmarks such as Napa’s famed Restaurant at Meadowood, by the Glass Fire, which sparked on the same day as the Zogg Fire.
Contributing: Susan Miller and Jorge L. Ortiz, USA TODAY; David Benda and Matt Brannon, Redding (Calif.) Record Searchlight; The Associated Press