Firefighters are battling nearly two dozen wildfires in California as a week of raging blazes has destroyed more than a million acres across the state.
The wildfire, sparked by nearly 12,000 lightning strikes just over a week ago, continues to burn across much of Northern California today, while a blazing fire in the wine country is now considered the second largest in the state's history. The 2018 Mendocino Complex Fire, which has burned more than 700 square miles, has become the largest wildfire in the state's history, lagging only behind the complex that burned more than 3,100 acres in 2013, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. In a daily statewide summary, the office of the top fire chief of the U.S. Forest Service said the 2018 California fire season has so far cost taxpayers $1.5 billion, with more than 8,200 fires burning well over 4 million acres. But that doesn't give a complete picture of how much land has been burned this year or how many people have been burned.
Many of the Oregon fires are 0% contained, including the Beachie Creek and Riverside fires, which have burned more than 1,000 square miles of land in the San Joaquin Valley, according to the Oregon Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.
Firefighters say the Deer Zone Fire, which is burning 850 acres under the name Marsh Creek Complex Fire, has scorched 1,775 acres and is 0% contained, Cal Fire said. Firefighters are still battling four fires, one of which is also among the four - fire one, and the other two are 0% contained. Four fires that are blazing on the east side of the San Joaquin Valley in Alameda County near the city of San Jose are all contained, according to the fire department.
According to Cal Fire, the LNU Lightning Complex fire, which covers about 1,500 acres in Alameda, Contra Costa and Santa Clara counties, is currently on 350,030 acres and is the second largest fire the state has ever seen, according to Cal Fire. About 20 fires have burned across 35,000 acres, and the fire at the SCU Lighting Complex in the Santa Cruz Mountains east of San Jose, about 30 miles north of the city of Santa Rosa, was the third major fire registered in the state and burning nearly 400,000 acres.
The largest and most destructive fires occurred in October, when thousands of lightning strikes sparked dozens of fires in Northern California, including the Santa Rosa Fire, which has burned about 67,500 acres and destroyed 1,555 buildings since October. The total number of buildings burned in the six counties and the size of the fires even exceeded the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, according to the US Geological Survey.
The fire triggered three alarms that required the help of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection and the state's fire department.
California is currently battling about 625 simultaneous wildfires across the state, including a series of new fires that started overnight. CAL FIRE says the fire has burned 363,220 hectares in five counties and was 94% contained by Thursday morning. In California, firefighters continue to battle several fires, including two in the Redwood Valley, one in San Bernardino County and another in Mendocino County. The fire Saturday was burning in Redwoods National Park, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.
Forced evacuations are underway in the area as the remediation of the Marsh Creek fire damage increases. Just down the slope to the west, the Redwood National Park Fire Protection District and the San Jose Fire Department serve as a staging post for Cal Fire to extinguish fires, cause burns and put fire suppressants in place to prevent the fire from spreading east of San Jose. Please check the current fire regulations and provide all the information you can use to help, such as information on fire fighting, fire prevention and fire management.
Firefighters are conducting roving fire patrols and say about an acre of mulch and debris from the fire near Altamont Pass Road in Alameda County is smoldering. If you have questions about how to get your claim for compensation for the fire damage in California, it turns out that some claims have already been rejected. For more information on major wildfires in the Bay Area, see the breakdown above.
The flames damaged historic buildings and campsite infrastructure, said Christine McMorrow, a spokeswoman for Cal Fire. The flames prompted the evacuation of San Juan Canyon and were reported as far as the Alameda-Contra Costa County border. A fire started in the Altamont Pass area near Caltrain station at about 4.30pm on Tuesday.
The community along Interstate 9 is so close to Caltrain station that officials fear it could be overrun by the tense firefighters by Wednesday night. According to a recent analysis, Alameda County has the second-highest number of wildfires in the state, behind San Francisco. Meanwhile, Cal Fire's response to the fire has been frustrated by the slow pace of its response and lack of coordination with other agencies.