Northern California Wildfire is Largest in State’s History

The August Complex — the name given to the series of blazes in the Mendocino National Forest north of Sacramento — is the biggest wildfire in California history, according to . The fire has burned more than 471,000 acres. The last largest fire on record, the Mendocino Complex fire, burned more than 459,000 acres two years ago, according to the New York Times.

Cal Fire officials say 3.1 million acres have burned statewide this year, according to NBC News. Air quality is also significantly impacted in the area.

“We expect to see higher concentrations in the southwestern portions of Tehama County,” officials with the Tehama County Air Pollution Control District said in a statement. “Conditions will most likely vary from unhealthy for sensitive groups to hazardous over short periods of time as smoke from wildland fires in the North State drifts over Tehama County.”

Tehama County is just north of San Francisco. The August Complex, which was started by a lightning storm, has caused one death and burned at least 26 buildings so far. However, the Mendocino Complex fire actually caused more damage, destroying 18,000 buildings and the town of Paradise, as well as killing 85 people.

Nearly 50,000 wildfires scorched at least 4.6 million acres nationwide last year. Wildfires have killed 12 people and damaged more than 3,900 structures since the beginning of this year, according to CalFire. This month’s wildfires have forced more than 64,000 people to evacuate, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.