California issues statewide fire summary

On Wednesday, Aug. 26, CalFire issued the following statement on fires burning in the state.

Continued favorable weather conditions continue to aid firefighters in their efforts towards containment. More than 15,000 firefighters today are battling more than two dozen major fires and lightning complexes across California. In the past 24-hours there were over 400 lightning strikes in Northern California. Firefighters continue to monitor for additional lightning strike wildfires. As firefighters continue to make good progress towards containment on all the fires and thanks to the efforts of firefighters, two fires have been fully contained.

Since the lightning siege that started on Saturday, Aug. 15, there have been nearly 14,000 lightning strikes. During this time-period, there have been more than 700 new wildfires, which have now burned more than 1.32 million acres. The significant acreage burned makes the fires collectively larger than the state of Delaware. In this siege, there have been seven reported fatalities and nearly 1,700 structures destroyed.

California firefighters continue to get assistance from other states and the military. 91 fire engines from nine western states are assigned to incidents. The California National Guard has been providing assistance in battling the wildfires with aircraft and guard members. Their activation includes 17 water-dropping helicopters, 4 C-130 aircraft and more than 1,800 personnel.

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Weather conditions continue to improve compared to last week. A strong marine layer has returned, which has helped raise relative humidity and lower temperatures in some areas. However, with a strong marine layer comes a strong onshore flow especially in the afternoon. Gusty winds can be expected of 15 to 20 miles-per-hour. This can make firefighting conditions challenging during those times for the next couple days. Warmer conditions are expected over the weekend. Isolated thunderstorms are still possible in the upper portion of northern California and the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range. The rest of California will experience a return to a warm and dry weather pattern.

Californians need to take steps to prevent sparking a wildfire. To learn more ways to prevent sparking a wildfire visit ReadyForWildfire.org.