Four wildfires burning in California are so extraordinarily large that it takes two or more of the largest and highest qualified Incident Management Teams (IMT) to organize and supervise the suppression of each these monster fires.
One of those, the 846,898-acre (that is not a typo) August Complex in Northern California has three Type 1 teams– CAL FIRE 5, Great Basin 2, and Alaska 1. This monster of a fire is 63 miles long (north to south) and at its widest point is 32 miles, east to west. The blaze is divided into three zones, West, North, and South Zones. The fire is the result of 37 fires that started on August 17, burning together on the Mendocino National Forest 32 miles southwest of Redding.
One firefighter, Diane Jones from a fire department in Texas, was killed in a vehicle accident August 31. Twenty-one residences have been destroyed.
One individual with COVID-19 symptoms and two other people who had contact with the individual are in isolation until they can be cleared by testing.
Resources assigned to the fire include 70 hand crews, 388 fire engines, and 35 helicopters for a total of 4,290 personnel — a figure that includes 125 California National Guard personnel.
Some lists of the largest fires in the recorded history of California circulating this year have listed complexes, multiple individual fires managed under one organization, high on the list. But a group of fires arbitrarily lumped under one IMT should not, for historical purposes, be ranked.
However, the August Complex is comprised of multiple fires that burned together and became one, so in my mind it legitimately belongs on the list as the largest in the recorded history of the state. The next three on the list at Wikipedia are all multiple-fire complexes; they should at least have asterisks explaining they are not single fires. But even if the multiple-fire complexes are included, the August Complex is still about 388,000 acres larger than number two on the list, the 2018 Mendocino Complex which consisted of two fires, River and Ranch.