SCU Complex Fires burning in six counties now considered state’s second largest in history

SCU Complex Fires burning in six counties now considered state’s second largest in history

The SCU Lightning Complex fires burning in several East Bay and Central Valley counties are now considered the second-largest fire in state history at 363,772 acres, moving ahead of the LNU Lightning Complex fires burning in the North Bay, according to Cal Fire.

The SCU Lightning Complex fires started Aug. 16 and have spread in Alameda, Contra Costa, Santa Clara, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Merced and San Benito counties. They were 15 percent contained as of Tuesday morning.

Flames are burning in remote areas that crews have had trouble reaching, in part because of trees and branches blocking roadways. However, weather conditions will be more favorable to firefighters compared to last week, according to Cal Fire.

In the North Bay, the LNU Lightning Complex fires continued to grow, reaching 352,913 acres as of Tuesday morning, but were 27 percent contained, Cal Fire said.

The LNU Complex fires have left five people dead, three in Napa County and two in Solano County, destroyed 937 structures, damaged 248 others, and still threaten 30,500 structures, according to Cal Fire.

The largest fires in the complex are the Hennessey Fire, which had burned 294,050 acres in Napa and Lake counties and was 29 percent contained as of Tuesday morning, the Walbridge fire, which has burned more than 54,503 acres west of Healdsburg in Sonoma County and was 17 percent contained, and the Meyers Fire north of Jenner, which had burned 2,360 acres and was 97 percent contained.

In southern San Mateo County and northern Santa Cruz County the CZU Lightning Complex fires were 17 percent contained as of Tuesday morning, according to Cal Fire.

Approximately 77,000 people have been evacuated from both counties; one person has been confirmed dead in the fire and seven people remained missing.

As of Tuesday morning, the fires had reached 78,869 acres and destroyed 330 structures, 11 in San Mateo County and 319 in Santa Clara County. Approximately 24,323 structures remained threatened.

Evacuation orders are in place for communities in San Mateo and Santa Cruz counties and evacuation warnings continue for some areas in Santa Clara County.

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