|The August Complex fire perimeter Monday|
(L.A. Times map by Swetha Kannan)
The fire, which covers a large portion of the Mendocino National Forest, is about the size of the developed part of the Bay Area. "The August Complex has contributed to the worst fire season California has ever recorded: 4 million acres in California have burned to date — far exceeding the previous record of more than 1.8 million set in 2018," Smith and Lin report. "One firefighter, Diane Jones, 63, lost her life trying to battle the blaze." Communities have been evacuated as firefighters try to control the fire.A record-dry February primed the land for a conflagration. "Increased global temperatures driven by carbon emissions also contributed to 2020’s extreme fire conditions," Smith and Lin report. "California saw its hottest August on record, only to break at least six more temperature records in September. Fourteen of the last 21 years have also seen below-average rainfall in the state."