5 of California's 10 largest wildfires ever are still burning

5 of California's 10 largest wildfires ever are still burning
Posted at 4:36 PM, Sep 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-30 19:13:00-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — Five of California's 10 largest fires ever are still burning.

The largest of the state's wildfires, the August Complex fire, is now California's largest wildfire on record, burning 471,185 acres since Aug. 17. The blaze began as 37 different fires before each merged into the massive group.

According to CAL FIRE, its list of the 10 largest wildfires in state history (as of Sept. 10, 2020) includes:

  1. August Complex: 471,185 acres (August 2020; 24% contained)
  2. Mendocino Complex: 459,123 acres (July 2018)
  3. SCU Lightning Complex: 396,624 acres (August 2020; 97% contained)
  4. LNU Lightning Complex: 363,220 acres (August 2020; 94% contained)
  5. Thomas Fire: 281,893 acres (December 2017)
  6. Cedar Fire: 273,246 acres (October 2003)
  7. Rush Fire: 271,911 acres (August 2012)
  8. Rim Fire: 257,314 acres (August 2013)
  9. Elkhorn Fire (SHF Elkhorn Lightning Fires): 255,309 acres (August 2020; 27% contained)
  10. North Complex: 252,163 acres (August 2020; 23% contained)

The state's 17th largest wildfire in history, the Creek Fire, is also still burning in Fresno and Madera Counties. It has burned 175,893 acres since it ignited on Sept. 4 and is 0% contained.

This article was written by Mark Saunders for KGTV.


Put together your emergency supply kit long before a wildfire or other disaster occurs and keep it easily accessible so you can take it with you when you have to evacuate.

Emergency Supply Kit Checklist:

  • Face masks or coverings
  • Three-day supply of non-perishable food and three gallons of water per person
  • Map marked with at least two evacuation routes
  • Prescriptions or special medications
  • Change of clothing
  • Extra eyeglasses or contact lenses
  • An extra set of car keys, credit cards, cash or traveler’s checks
  • First aid kit
  • Flashlight
  • Battery-powered radio and extra batteries
  • Sanitation supplies
  • Copies of important documents (birth certificates, passports, etc.)
  • Don’t forget pet food and water!

Items to take if time allows:

  • Easily carried valuables
  • Family photos and other irreplaceable items
  • Personal computer information on hard drives and disks
  • Chargers for cell phones, laptops, etc.

Always keep a sturdy pair of shoes and a flashlight near your bed and handy in case of a sudden evacuation at night.