August Complex Fire now the largest in recent California history, Creek Fire breaks top 10

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Monday, October 5, 2020
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The August Complex Fire in Northern California is now the largest fire in the state since record-keeping began. Several other fires that started in August have also climbed the list of the largest in recent history, according to data from CAL FIRE.

The August Complex Fire currently burning in Northern California is the largest complex fire in the state since record-keeping began, according to data from CAL FIRE, while the Creek Fire is the largest single fire. Several other fires that started in August have also climbed the list of the largest in recent history, including the SCU and LNU Lightning Complex fires and the North Complex Fire.

Here are the 10 largest fires in California history with figures accurate as of Monday, Oct. 5.

1. AUGUST COMPLEX FIRE (Tehama County), August 2020

Acres burned: 1,002,097

Structures destroyed: 160

Deaths: 1

2. MENDOCINO COMPLEX FIRE (Colusa County, Lake County, Glenn County, Mendocino counties), July 2018

Acres burned: 459,123

Structures destroyed: 280

Deaths: 1

3. SCU LIGHTNING COMPLEX FIRE (Stanislaus, Santa Clara, Alameda, Contra Costa, San Joaquin counties), August 2020

Acres burned: 396,624

Structures destroyed: 222

Deaths: 0

4. LNU LIGHTNING COMPLEX FIRE (Sonoma, Lake, Napa, Yolo & Solano counties), August 2020

Acres burned: 363,220

Structures destroyed: 1,491

Deaths: 5

5. CREEK FIRE (Fresno & Madera counties), Sept. 2020

Acres burned: 322,089

Structures destroyed: 856

Deaths: 0

6. NORTH COMPLEX FIRE (Butte, Plumas and Yuba counties), August 2020

Acres burned: 318,724

Structures destroyed: 2,352

Deaths: 15

7. THOMAS FIRE (Ventura, Santa Barbara counties), December 2017

Acres burned: 281,893

Structures destroyed: 1,063

Deaths: 2

8. CEDAR FIRE (San Diego County), October 2003

Acres burned: 273,246

Structures destroyed: 2,820

Deaths: 15

9. RUSH FIRE (Lassen County), August 2012

Acres burned: 271,911 in California; 43,666 in Nevada

Structures destroyed: 0

Deaths: 0

10. RIM FIRE (Tuolumne County), August 2013

Acres burned: 257,314

Structures destroyed: 112

Deaths: 0

Note: This list only takes into account fires that happened in 1932 or later, as records before this time are less reliable, according to Cal Fire.