WILLOWS, Glenn County (CBS / AP) — A wildfire burning since last month in Northern California is now the state’s largest on record.
The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection says the August Complex has scorched more than 736 square miles (1,906 square kilometers), centered in vast wilderness about 130 miles (209 kilometers) north of San Francisco.
The blaze originated as 37 separate fires in the Mendocino National Forest on Aug. 17, when California was hit by thousands of lightning strikes.
The rare lightning storm sparked other major fires in and around the Bay Area, including the LNU Lightning Complex in the North Bay, the SCU Lightning Complex in the East Bay and South Bay, along with the CZU Lightning Complex in the Santa Cruz Mountains.
Many of the fires merged and others have since been added, and the complex now covers parts of Glenn, Mendocino, Lake, Tehama and Trinity counties. It has destroyed 26 structures as it consumes chaparral, timber and tall grass.
The state’s second-largest fire is now the Mendocino Complex, which burned more than 717 square miles (1,857 square kilometers) in the same region in 2018.
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