WILLOWS, Calif. - 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 471,000 acres (1,906 square kilometers), centered in vast wilderness about 130 miles, 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.
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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 459,000 acres (1,857 square kilometers) in the same region in 2018.