Before violent thunderstorms created hundreds of wildfires in Northern California, the fire season was relatively calm. But less than a week after more than 12,000 lightning strikes wreaked havoc on the state, firefighters are now battling the second and third largest fires in California’s recorded history.
CalFire keeps a running list of the largest fires ever seen in the state and they’ve needed to update it daily with the LNU Lightning Complex and SCU Lightning Complex. Both fires climbed the list at an alarming rate on their way to burning more than 600,000 acres combined. As of Saturday, only 2018’s Mendocino Complex Fire is larger than these current fires. Here’s the list:
The largest and most destructive fire incident currently in California is the LNU Lightning Complex, which has torched 314,207 acres, destroying 560 structures and tragically claiming four lives. Firefighters have worked around the clock to protect residents and attempt to control the flames, which now sits at 15 percent containment.
Here is a map of the LNU Complex:
Meanwhile, in the southernmost reaches of NorCal sits the SCU Lightning Complex, which has burned 291,968 acres near San Jose, destroying 5 structures and injuring two people.
Here is the map of the SCU Complex:
The fires in California continue to stretch the state firefighting resources extremely thin, with more than 12,000 firefighters on the scene of the more than 500 fire incidents. Crews from Oregon, Idaho and Arizona have arrived to relieve local firefighters, with more on the way from as far away as Maryland and New Jersey.
“We simply haven’t seen anything like this in many years,” California Gov. Gavin Newsom said at a press briefing with Cal Fire.
We simply haven’t seen anything like this in history. Stay safe, NorCal.