SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Deadly wildfires in California have burned more than 4 million acres (6,250 square miles) this year — more than double the previous record for the most land burned in a single year in the state.
California fire officials said the state hit the astonishing milestone Sunday with about two months remaining in the fire season. The previous record was set two years ago when wildfires destroyed 1.67 million acres (2,609 square miles).
“The 4 million mark is unfathomable. It boggles the mind, and it takes your breath away,” said Scott McLean, a spokesman for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, known as Cal Fire.
Cal Fire said in a statement Sunday that there have been more than 8,200 wildfires since the start of the year that have burned “well over 4 million acres in California.”
The flames have scorched an area larger than Connecticut. About 17,000 firefighters are still battling nearly two dozen major blazes throughout the state.