Wildfire: the largest fire in California history burned 400,000 hectares

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At least 31 people have died since they began a month and a half ago and 8,200 structures have been destroyed, according to official data. In total 1.6 million hectares have already burned.

The largest fire in the history of California (USA) exceeded the barrier of 500,000 hectares, 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, It has been active for a month and a half and has been 54% contained, according to the latest update from the California Department of Forestry 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 US Forest Service, as well as 138 National Guard personnel.

At least 31 people have died in the firess 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 several counties.

An unprecedented amount of smoke emanates from the more than 20 active fires in different parts of the state, and Californian air takes weeks registering very bad quality levels, so much so that many days become harmful to people’s health.

The San Francisco Bay area, for example, maintains an alert active until Friday so that its neighbors avoid any outdoor activity as much as possible, since the large amount of accumulated smoke represents a health hazard.

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 all, more than 4 million acres have already been burned in California, which are 1,618,742 hectares.

California remains largely warm and dryBut the fierce winds that fanned hell a week ago are gone. The cooling off the coast was expected to expand inland and a Pacific storm system remained in the forecast for Northern California for next weekend.

But authorities in the wine region said there probably wouldn’t be enough rain to stop additional fires. Cal Fire meteorologist Tom Bird said North Bay has about a 25% chance of a quarter-inch of rain, the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat reported.

“While we may see some rain on the fire this weekend, i don’t think it’s significant enough to be a season-ending event, “he said.

Source: AFP and AP

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