Firefighters fight fires north of San Francisco, August 23, 2020. - Noah Berger / AP / SIPA
California is in flames. Nearly 240,000 people were thus evacuated to escape the violent forest fires. Above all, the race against the clock is on to limit the damage before the weather conditions deteriorate. This American state, nicknamed the Golden State , will indeed have to face a possible new series of thunderstorms until Tuesday.
You're watching today's air ops over the #CZULightningComplex pic.twitter.com/cTtuGxo39p- CAL FIRE CZU (@CALFIRECZU) August 24, 2020
The second largest fire in state history
About 20 major homes were still in operation on Sunday, including the LNU Lightning Complex and the SCU Lightning Complex, respectively north and southeast of San Francisco. The LNU has already crossed over 138,000 hectares, making it the second largest perimeter fire in California history, behind the Mendocino Complex, and its 185,000 hectares that went up in smoke in July 2018. The SCU Complex is already the third most devastating fire, with more than 137,000 hectares destroyed, while it was only 10% contained on Sunday morning.
In total, of all the large fires listed in California, which killed at least five people, more than 1,000 buildings were destroyed, including 845 for the LNU Complex alone, which was 17% contained on Sunday.
Some 14,000 firefighters on site Sunday
The Californian authorities recognized that the manpower was, at first, insufficient to fight effectively against so many large-scale fires. But the California firefighters have received, in recent hours, reinforcements of men and equipment from several American states, including Oregon, Texas, Arizona or New Mexico, announced the California agency of fire protection, CalFire. About 200 men of the National Guard were also mobilized, and about 14,000 firefighters were on work Sunday.
As of Sunday, firefighters could count on more than 200 flying devices, planes and helicopters, including modified military planes to fight the fires. Governor Gavin Newsom also asked for help from Canada and Australia.
It was a series of thunderstorms and a wave of more than 12,000 lightning bolts last weekend and earlier this week that sparked the current fires in California.
California still in flames, and situation could worsen on Sunday
Earth, laundry, refuge ... How to react to a forest fire
- San francisco
- United States