Wildfires burn over 4.1 mln acres in U.S. California


SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 18 (Xinhua) -- There have been over 8,600 wildfires that have burned more than 4.1 million acres (16,592 square km) in the U.S. state of California since the beginning of this year, according to the fire summary released by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) on Sunday.

To date, the total number of fatalities statewide is 31 and more than 9,200 structures have been destroyed.

As of Sunday, over 7,700 firefighters remained on the frontlines of 20 wildfires across the state, 12 of which remain major incidents. Firefighters responded to 23 new wildfires, all were quickly contained, Cal Fire said.

Containment of the August Complex, the largest fire in state history, was increased from 82 percent to 86 percent overnight Saturday into Sunday morning. The blaze has burned 1.03 million acres (4,168 square km) in Mendocino, Humboldt, Trinity, Tehama, Glenn, Lake and Colusa counties.

The Creek Fire in Fresno and Madera counties reached 348,085 acres (1,409 square km) as of Sunday morning and remained 60 percent contained, according to Cal Fire.

Although the Red Flag Warnings have expired, dry weather and unseasonably warm temperatures continue through much of next week across much of the state. Coastal areas will see some relief, but heightened fire danger remains elsewhere. No rain is forecast in the short term, Cal Fire said.

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