Massive California wildfire scorches record 1mn acres

The August Complex wildfire, which started out as 37 different fires in California’s Mendocino National Forest and still raging, has so far scorched a record 1 million acres of land in the US state.

In its latest update, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) said that as of Monday the blaze has been 54 per cent, reports the San Francisco Chronicle newspaper.

The blaze is currently raging across the counties of burning in Mendocino, Humboldt, Trinity, Tehama, Glenn, Lake and Colusa.

Strong winds in the region were now threatening to push the fire north into the South Fork Trinity River drainage, prompting Trinity County officials to issue evacuation orders and warnings in several mountainous communities.

The August Complex wildfire began when thunderstorms pounded the area between August 18-20.

Thirty-seven different fires were triggered by lightning, While many were contained, several others went on to merge and become one massive blaze.

In the update, Cal Fire said that currently more than 16,600 firefighters continue to work towards containing 23 major wildfires and one extended attack wildfire across the state.

On Sunday, firefighters also responded to 26 new wildfires, bringing full containment to all but one, the Lambert Fire in Amador County.

Since the beginning of the year, there have been over 8,300 wildfires that have burned well over 4 million acres in California.

The state’s death toll stands at 31, while some 8,687 structures have been destroyed.

Cal Fire also warned that with continued warm temperatures across the state and slow humidity recovery, an increased fire danger remains.

Cooler temperatures and rain could help fire crews tending to the Zogg and Glass fires, which have been burning for more than a week in the northern part of the state.

The deadly Zogg Fire in Shasta and Tehama counties has burned 56,305 acres and was 76 per cent contained as of Monday afternoon, according to Cal Fire.

Four people have lost their lives as result of the blaze that started September 27 and the cause is still under investigation.

A probe is also underway to find the cause of the Glass Fire, which is raging in the Napa and Sonoma counties.

The blaze has grown to 65,580 acres since September 27. It is 30 per cent contained.