California sets record with 2M acres burned so far this year

National

A helicopter prepares to drop water at a wildfire in Yucaipa, Calif., Saturday, Sept. 5, 2020. Three fast-spreading California wildfires sent people fleeing Saturday, with one trapping campers at a reservoir in the Sierra National Forest, as a brutal heat wave pushed temperatures into triple digits in many parts of state. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)

SHAVER LAKE, Calif. (AP) – Wildfires have burned more than two million acres in California this year, setting a new record even as crews battled dozens of growing blazes across the state.

Officials say the most striking thing about the record is how early it was set – with the most dangerous part of the year ahead. The previous record was 1.96 million acres burned in 2018. Cal Fire began tracking in 1987.

Dry, hot winds are predicted to raise fire danger to critical levels in the coming days. Officials expanded evacuation orders Monday for rural communities in the path of a huge fire in California’s Sierra National Forest.

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