The deadly California wildfires have burned over 1 million acres as thousands of firefighters struggle to contain the growing blaze.
At least 12,000 lightning strikes that started 585 fires in the state over the past week. A total of 1.1 million have burned in the state with more than 13,000 firefighters working the fires, Fire spokesman Steve Kaufmann said.
The massive blaze killed at least four people. Two fires, the 325,128-acre LNU Lightning Complex Fire in the northern Bay Area and Central Valley, and the 339,926-acre SCU Lightning Complex Fire largely east of San Jose — are among the state’s three largest wildfires in recorded history.
President Donald Trump released federal aid to supplement recovery efforts in areas affected by the wildfires.
The SCU fire is now the 2nd biggest fire in state history while the LNU is the third.
California wildfires have caused more deaths and destruction so far this year than in all of 2019. Last year, wildfires charred a total of 260,000 acres and killed three people.
The National Weather Service has issued air quality alerts for parts of at least six states: California, Nevada, Oregon, Idaho, Colorado and New Mexico. These alerts warn of moderate to heavy smoke, and advise people — especially those with heart disease or respiratory illnesses — to consider staying indoors and limiting outdoor activity.
And as tens of thousands of people heed evacuation orders, they’re weighing the risk of coronavirus infections as they decide whether to head to official shelters.
Nearly 41,000 residents in Sonoma County were under evacuation warnings or orders Saturday, officials said.
On top of that, about 8 million people in parts of California, southern Oregon, Montana and southern Utah were under red flag warnings. This means “warm temperatures, very low humidities, and stronger winds are expected to combine to produce an increased risk of fire danger,” according to the National Weather Service.