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Wildfires are blazing new records as they burn in 15 Western states

August 21, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

Scorched homes and vehicles fill Spanish Flat Mobile Villa following the LNU Lightning Complex fires in unincorporated Napa County, Calif., on Thursday, Aug. 20, 2020. The fire destroyed dozens of homes at the mobile home park with only a handful that remained standing. Fire crews across the region scrambled to contain dozens of wildfires sparked by lightning strikes. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

Major wildfires are burning in California and other Western states. More than 20 major fires are burning in the Golden State, fueled by high temperatures. But states from the Northwest into the Rockies are also experiencing devastating wildfires.

(CNN)Major wildfires are burning in California and other Western states.

More than 20 major fires are burning in the Golden State, fueled by high temperatures.

California

The 660,000 acres burned in California so far is about the same area of land as Rhode Island. Active fires from August alone have burned more than double the total acreage burned in California in 2019 (about 260,000 acres). The LNU Lightning Complex fire is already the 10th largest in California history, at 219,000 acres. Eight of the top 10 fires in California history have happened this decade.

That's since reliable data became available in 1932. Having burned 219,000 acres in 96 hours since it started Monday morning, the LNU fire has burned the equivalent of one football field every 2 seconds since Monday morning. According to Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS), Wednesday set a one-day record for the amount of wildfire smoke emissions coming from California fires.

At around 125,000 acres, the Pine Gulch Fire in Colorado is currently the second largest fire in Colorado history (behind the Hayman fire in 2002, at 137,700 acres). There are 86 active large fires across 15 states, according to the National Interagency Fire Center.

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