Prime conditions increase and stoke California wildfires Thursday

California wildfires have now burned 626,394 acres, 2,139 structures have been damaged or destroyed, and nearly 36,000 residents are evacuated, according to CNN on Thursday morning. Triple-digit temperatures, high humidity and strong gusty winds threaten to continue the wildfire devastation as 17 large wildfires continue burning across the state. More than 14,000 firefighters are working to put out the blazes, Cal Fire said.

So far this year, fires in California fought by Cal Fire and the U.S. Forest Service have burned more than 749,770 acres (over 1,171 square miles), more than twice the land area of the city of Los Angeles.

Of that total, well over 550,000 acres have been burned in the last three weeks in the three largest fires: the Mendocino Complex Fire, the Carr Fire, and the Ferguson Fire. The three fires all began in July, which was the hottest month on record, according to data from the National Center for Environmental Information.

The Carr Fire has since expanded to cover 173,522 acres and is only 47% contained. The fire has destroyed 1,077 residential structures, 22 commercial structures and 500 outbuildings, according to Cal Fire. A total of 4,766 personnel members are assigned to fight the fire, as well as 372 fire engines and 16 helicopters.

The Mendocino Complex Fire is now at 300,086 acres and is 51% contained.

The Ferguson Fire, located in the Sierra National Forest, grew to more than 94,000 acres with 43% containment on Tuesday, Cal Fire said, making it the largest fire in the forest’s history. There were 2,039 personnel fighting the fire, employing 202 fire engines and 14 helicopters.

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