SACRAMENTO (AP) — An unusually bad year for California wildfires has seen more than 1 million acres (1,500 square miles) burn so far in 2017.

The latest data released Tuesday by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection covers land under both state and federal protection. The total area burned in the state this year is bigger than the state of Rhode Island.

The figures released this week don’t include the wind-driven wildfires currently raging in Southern California.

State Fire Chief Ken Pimlott has told lawmakers that climate change is spawning more and bigger wildfires. Blazes on land under Cal Fire’s protection this year have burned more than twice the recent five-year average.

© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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