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

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, while the Creek Fire is the largest single fire. Several other fires that started in August have also climbed the list of the largest in recent history, including the SCU and LNU Lightning Complex fires and the North Complex Fire.

Here are the 10 largest fires in California history with figures accurate as of Monday, Oct. 5.

1. AUGUST COMPLEX FIRE (Tehama County), August 2020
Acres burned: 1,002,097
Structures destroyed: 160
Deaths: 1

2. MENDOCINO COMPLEX FIRE (Colusa County, Lake County, Glenn County, Mendocino counties), July 2018
Acres burned: 459,123
Structures destroyed: 280
Deaths: 1

3. SCU LIGHTNING COMPLEX FIRE (Stanislaus, Santa Clara, Alameda, Contra Costa, San Joaquin counties), August 2020
Acres burned: 396,624
Structures destroyed: 222
Deaths: 0

4. LNU LIGHTNING COMPLEX FIRE (Sonoma, Lake, Napa, Yolo & Solano counties), August 2020
Acres burned: 363,220
Structures destroyed: 1,491
Deaths: 5

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5. CREEK FIRE (Fresno & Madera counties), Sept. 2020
Acres burned: 322,089
Structures destroyed: 856
Deaths: 0

6. NORTH COMPLEX FIRE (Butte, Plumas and Yuba counties), August 2020
Acres burned: 318,724
Structures destroyed: 2,352
Deaths: 15

7. THOMAS FIRE (Ventura, Santa Barbara counties), December 2017
Acres burned: 281,893

Structures destroyed: 1,063
Deaths: 2

8. CEDAR FIRE (San Diego County), October 2003
Acres burned: 273,246
Structures destroyed: 2,820
Deaths: 15

9. RUSH FIRE (Lassen County), August 2012
Acres burned: 271,911 in California; 43,666 in Nevada
Structures destroyed: 0
Deaths: 0



10. RIM FIRE (Tuolumne County), August 2013
Acres burned: 257,314
Structures destroyed: 112

Deaths: 0

Note: This list only takes into account fires that happened in 1932 or later, as records before this time are less reliable, according to Cal Fire.
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