SCU, LNU Lightning Complex fires become top 5 largest wildfires in CA history

ByAlex Meier KGO logo
Saturday, October 3, 2020
Video shows burned out cars, orange skies amid Bay Area wildfires
Burned out cars, orange smoky skies. Here's a look at video showing some of the devastating views from the Bay Area as three massive wildfire complexes tore through the region in Aug. 2020.

SAN FRANCISCO -- UPDATE: As of Oct. 2020, the August Complex Fire currently burning in Northern California is the largest complex fire in the state since record-keeping began, according to data from CAL FIRE.

The SCU Lightning Complex Fire now ranks third and the LNU Lightning Complex Fire follows after.

RELATED:August Complex Fire now the largest in recent California history, Creek Fire breaks top 10

See original story below:

The SCU Lightning Complex has become one of the largest wildfires in California history, second only to a complex that scorched NorCal in 2018, according to CAL FIRE records. The LNU Lightning Complex now ranks third.

VIDEO: Most destructive California wildfires in history

These are the five most destructive wildfires in California history when measured by the number of structures destroyed.

The SCU Lightning Complex Fire burned 372,971 acres in Santa Clara County, Alameda County, Contra Costa County, San Joaquin County, Stanislaus County, Merced County, and San Benito County, leaving five dead and hundreds of buildings destroyed, and is 35% contained. The LNU Lightning Complex had burned more than 371,249 acres across Napa, Sonoma, Lake, Yolo and Solano countis and is only 35% contained, as of Friday morning.

For comparison, 372,971 acres, or approximately 582.8 square miles, is larger than the entire city of Los Angeles, more than 12 San Franciscos and three times the size of Lake Tahoe.

That's the size of almost 15 Disney Worlds and 731 Disneylands.

This map compares the size of the LNU Lightning Complex Fire, as of Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020, to the city of Los Angeles.
This map compares the size of the LNU Lightning Complex Fire, as of Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020, to the city of Los Angeles.

The complex could house 282,553 football fields. It could also fit 1,207,494 Olympic-sized swimming pools.

The two fires only rival 2018's Mendocino Complex, which burned more than 459,000 acres in Colusa, Lake, Mendocino and Glenn counties. That fire destroyed 280 buildings and claimed the life of one person.

VIDEO: Here's what it's like driving through Santa Cruz County wildfire at night

Flames burning trees and bushes, embers flying across the road -- CAL FIRE shares daunting video from the middle of the CZU Lightning Complex Fire that has burned 74,000 acres in Santa Cruz and San Mateo counties.

This report has been updated to reflect the changing size of the fires.

App users: For a better experience, click here to view the full map in a new window