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Nearly 1 million acres are burning due to wildfires across California, official says

August 23, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

Firefighters make a stand in the backyard of a home in front of the advancing CZU August Lightning Complex Fire Friday, Aug. 21, 2020, in Boulder Creek, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Wildfires in California have burned through nearly 1 million acres -- and there's no end in sight as thousands of firefighters struggle to contain the blazes and more emerge.

(CNN)Wildfires in California have burned through nearly 1 million acres -- and there's no end in sight as thousands of firefighters struggle to contain the blazes and more emerge.

Hundreds of fires were started by lightning, Cal Fire spokesman Steve Kaufmann said.

There were approximately 12,000 lightning strikes that started 585 fires in the state over the past week.

Approximately 950,000 acres in the state are burning with more than 13,000 firefighters working the fires, he said.

Firefighters have been struggling to contain the massive fires.

Two fires -- the 314,000-acre LNU Lightning Complex Fire in the northern Bay Area and Central Valley, and the 291,000-acre SCU Lightning Complex Fire largely east of San Jose -- are among the state's three largest wildfires in recorded history.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Saturday the state has received a Presidential Major Disaster Declaration due to the fires burning in the Northern part of the state.

Though more than 13,000 firefighters are battling the flames -- some on 24-hour shifts -- there are too many fires and not enough resources to prevent more homes from being torched, Cal Fire officials have said.

Inmate firefighters "are an integral part of our firefighting operations," Cal Fire spokeswoman Christine McMorrow said.

Last year, wildfires charred a total of 260,000 acres and killed three people, according to Cal Fire.

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