California Fires Update: A ‘Nightmare’ From Space, 7 Reported Dead

by Jack T. Wilder

Images of the California fires released from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration show huge swaths of the state in flames as plumes of smoke fan east.

California now has the second and third largest fires ever in its history burning at the same time. Lightning and dry conditions have sparked nearly 500 other fires.

Communities across the state are strapped for resources as nearly 1,400 firefighters tackle the blazes.

Death Toll Now at Seven

The fires from the CZU Lightning Complex started Aug. 16 from several lightning strikes striking dry trees or grasses. Since then, the complex has charred 74,000 acres and as of Sunday evening was only 8% contained. Big Basin state park and it’s grove of Redwood trees are said to be heavily destroyed.

The San Mateo Sheriff’s Office reported that one person has been killed. He was later identified as a 70-year-old man and was recovered by helicopter Sunday. The death toll now stands at seven.

Late Sunday night state officials announced that the LNU Complex had burned 871 structures. Most of those are homes as residents have been forced to flee.

All told, more than 650 fires have burned more than 1.4 million acres, an area larger than the state of Delaware, across the state in the last week. Here’s the latest on the three largest.

Latest Updates

The Weather Channel is reporting these updates as of Monday (August 24, 2020) morning.

A missing 70-year-old man was found dead in Last Chance, California, due to the CZU Fire Complex.

At least seven people have been killed by 650 wildfires in California over the last week.

Nearly a quarter-million people have fled their homes due to the fires.

Fire officials said that 871 structures, many of them homes, had burned in the largest of the fires, the LNU Complex.

Better than expected conditions overnight in Northern California gave firefighters some hope.

Twitter Reacts

The satellite imagery caused nervous reactions on Twitter with some people calling it a “nightmare” and “apocalyptic.”