Two Northern California fires already among state's largest ever

California Wildfires
Posted at 7:02 PM, Aug 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-21 23:25:53-04

(KGTV) — Recent wildfires that have been fueled by extreme weather conditions across California are already among the state's largest wildfires, burning a combined more than half a million acres.

According to CalFire, the LNU Lightning Complex and SCU Lightning Complex fires are already the second- and seventh-largest wildfires in California history, respectively. Both fires are believed to have been caused by lightning strikes.

The fires are two of more than 500 burning across the state as of Friday. Many of those fires were sparked by lightning strikes earlier this week.

The LNU Lightning Complex sparked Monday just north of Napa and has burned 302,388 acres. That blaze was 15% contained Friday. The SCU Lightning Complex fire started Tuesday east of San Francisco and has burned 229,968 acres. As of Friday, it was 10% contained.

Gov. Gavin Newsom says the blazes across the state are taxing California's firefighting capacity, but that assistance from 10 states is starting to arrive. CalFire Chief Mark Brunton pleaded with residents to leave their homes and not to battle the fires themselves, saying that could put more lives at risk.

According to the Associated Press, more than 12,000 firefighters, helicopters, and air tankers were deployed Friday to battle wildfires throughout the state.