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California fires set bleak record as 4m acres destroyed
(The Guardian, 5 Oct 2020) 4m figure double the previous record for most land burned Officials warn season ‘far from over and fire potential high’:
The wildfires that have ravaged California have reached a new grim milestone, having consumed 4m acres of the state in a fire season that shows little sign of ending.
The unprecedented figure – an area larger than Connecticut – is more than double the previous record for the most land burned in a single year in California.
“The 4m 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. “And that number will grow.”
The fire season, which has smothered the US west coast in smoke and turned the sky an eerie orange, roared into life after thousands of lightning bolts struck parched forests in August, sparking more than 8,200 wildfires that have killed 31 people and destroyed more than 8,400 buildings.
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