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Hundreds of wildfires strike Northern California and around the San Francisco Bay Area

PHOTO CREDITS: NIC COURY/AP

Thousands of lightning strikes combined with a record-breaking heat wave sparked hundreds of wildfires in Northern California and around the San Francisco Bay Area in recent days, according to a local ABC News station. ~

As of Monday, 250,000 people are under evacuation orders, according to the Guardian. One of the flames, the LNU Lightning Complex, located north of the city, is 350,000 acres in size. Another fire, the SCU Lightning Complex, which is southeast of the city, spans 347,000 acres. The California department of forestry and fire protection said that the LNU blaze is 22% contained, and the SCU fire is 10% contained. These two fires are now the second and third largest fires in California’s history, respectively. There have been more than 650 fires in the state in the past week. ~

The three main fires in the area have destroyed nearly 1,000 homes and structures. Seven people are reported to be dead. At one of the three blazes, the CZU Lightning Complex fire in the Santa Cruz mountains, south of San Francisco, authorities announced the discovery of the body of a 70-year-old man in a remote area called Last Chance on Sunday. The LNU fire has been the most deadly and destructive, accounting for five deaths and 845 destroyed homes and other buildings. ~

The Associated press reported that the humidity rose on Monday, and there has been no return of the slew of lightning strikes that sparked the fires last week. There is a “red flag” warning in place across many areas of northern California. The National Weather Service warns that extreme fire conditions such as high temperatures, low humidity, and wind gusts could result in “dangerous and unpredictable fire behavior.” Due to the Red Flag Warning, the Santa Cruz County Emergency Operations Center is urging evacuees staying outdoors in tents to seek indoor shelter as soon as possible, according to NBC Bay Area. Fire commanders said the weather had aided their efforts so far on Monday. “Mother Nature’s helped us quite a bit,” said Billy See, the California department of forestry and fire protection incident commander for a complex of fires burning south of San Francisco. ~

ARTICLE: CONNOR KMIECIK

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