California Fire Map, Updates as LNU Lightning Complex Fire Jumps Highway

Over 15,000 firefighters are battling dozens of wildfires across California sparked by nearly 14,000 lightning strikes. More than 1.32 million acres of land have been burned by over 700 fires so far, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) confirmed Wednesday.

Among the largest fires are clusters of fires forming the Lightning Complex fires, including the LNU fire which was reported to have jumped Highway 16. Mandatory evacuations have been issued across parts of Yolo County since, officials confirmed Wednesday.

More than 120,000 people remain under evacuation orders, while seven people have died so far. But the "sobering" death toll is likely to rise in days to come, California Gov. Gavin Newsom warned at a Wednesday press briefing.

"Tragically, we've lost seven individuals...these numbers are sobering," Newsom said.

"Once the fires are suppressed, we get back in and we start seeing repopulation, we're likely to discover additional fatalities...this goes for structures as well, identified just shy of 1,700 structures that have been destroyed. We anticipate that number to grow substantially in the coming days and coming weeks," the governor noted.

Here are some of the latest updates on various fires across California.

SCU Lightning Complex Fire

  • Acres: 367,371
  • Containment: 30 percent
  • Location: Santa Clara, Alameda, Contra Costa, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Merced and San Benito counties
  • Fatalities: 0
  • Structures threatened: 20,065
  • Structures destroyed: 37
  • Structures damaged: 6

The fire in the Deer Zone of the SCU complex fire has been fully contained, while others are ongoing.

"Fire activity has lessened due to favorable weather conditions and increased humidity this operational period. Deep rooted heat still remains in the bottom of the steep, inaccessible drainages," Cal Fire noted in its latest report Wednesday, 7:40 p.m. local time.

"When weather and conditions are favorable there will continue to be controlled burn operations inside the control line...if residents see large columns of smoke it most likely will be from the controlled burn," the report added.

Evacuation orders and warnings remain in place for parts of Santa Clara, Alameda, San Joaquin and Stanislaus counties. Evacuation warnings are also in effect across parts of Merced County. See Cal Fire's full report for details.

Statewide fire map for Wednesday, August 26. Improving weather conditions and tireless support from fire personnel contributed to steady progress on several fires. Thank you for all the hard work. pic.twitter.com/1McExIwBNl

— Cal OES (@Cal_OES) August 26, 2020

LNU Lightning Complex Fire

  • Ares: 360,868
  • Containment: 33 percent
  • Location: Napa, Sonoma, Lake, Yolo, Solano counties
  • Fatalities: 5
  • Structures threatened: 30,500
  • Structures destroyed: 1,080
  • Structures damaged: 272

Yolo County's Yocha Dehe Fire Department advised Wednesday: "In the upper section of Rumsey near CR 40, the LNU Lightning Complex Fires have jumped Highway 16, and the fire is heading Northeast.

"Hwy 16 is now closed between CR41 and CR20, and evacuations have begun in this area. The Casino and Tribal Community remain safe! Highway 16 remains clear from 41 to Highway 505," the department noted in a Wednesday post on its official Facebook page.

LNU's Hennessey Fire (a merge of the Gamble, Green, Aetna, Markley, Spanish, Morgan and Round fires), which spans Napa and Lake counties, was reported to be at 303,155 acres with 33 percent contained, according to Cal Fire's latest report Wednesday, 9 p.m. local time.

Over in Sonoma County, the Walbridge Fire (merged with the Stewarts Fire) reached 55,353 acres with 19 percent contained, while the Meyers Fire was reported to be at 2,360 acres and 97 percent containment, the report confirmed.

"Extreme fire behavior with short and long range spotting continues to challenge firefighting efforts. The Hennessey and Walbridge Fires continue to make runs in several directions, impacting surrounding communities," the report warned.

Evacuation orders and warnings remain in effect across several parts of Napa and Sonoma counties. See Cal Fire's full report for details.

CZU Lightning Complex Fire

  • Acres: 81,137
  • Containment: 21 percent
  • Location: Santa Cruz and San Mateo counties
  • Fatalities: 1
  • Structures threatened: 24,323
  • Structures destroyed: 590
  • Structures damaged: 61

"Firefighters continue to take suppressive action and construct containment lines on the CZU Lightning Complex. The fire continues to actively burn above the marine layer in the heavy timber and thick undergrowth," Cal Fire noted in its latest report Wednesday, 7 p.m. local time.

Damage inspection is being done in areas where fire activity has reduced and work is being done to "open roads, mitigate hazard trees and restore utilities." The repopulation of residents affected by evacuations is expected to resume as conditions permit, Cal Fire noted.

Evacuation orders are in place for parts of Santa Cruz and San Mateo counties. See Cal Fire's full report for details.

TGU Lightning Complex Fire

  • Acres: 54,850
  • Containment: 30 percent
  • Location: Tehama and Glenn counties
  • Fatalities: 0
  • Structures threatened: 250
  • Structures destroyed: 2
  • Structures damaged: 1

The Elkhorn Fire in the CZU fire's Tehama Zone was reported to be at 36,250 acres, with 30 percent contained, and "threaten communities to the north east," the latest Cal Fire report Wednesday at 7 p.m. local time confirmed.

In the complex fire's Glenn Zone, the Ivory/Doe Fire has reached 160,436 acres with 18 percent contained. The total acreage includes both state and federal land, with 15,800 acres on state lands.

"The Tatham Fire has hit 8,958 acres, including both state and federal land, with 2,800 acres on state lands and 11 percent contained, the report confirmed.

Evacuation orders, warnings as well as road closures remain in effect in various parts of both zones. See Cal Fire's full report for details.

Butte Lightning Complex Fire

  • Acres: 2,909
  • Containment: 63 percent
  • Location: Butte County
  • Fatalities: 0
  • Structures threatened: 27
  • Structures destroyed: 0
  • Structures damaged: 0

Eight of the 34 fires in Butte County are being actively staffed, according to the latest Cal Fire report Wednesday at 7 p.m. local time. The eight fires include the following:

  1. 1-2: 94 acres, 80 percent contained
  2. 1-7: 199 acres, 70 percent contained
  3. 1-8: 92 acres, 90 percent contained
  4. 1-12: 1050 acres, 40 percent contained
  5. 1-13: 1 acre, 70 percent contained
  6. 2-24: 285 acres, 95 percent contained
  7. 5-4: 927 acres, 96 percent contained
  8. 5-6: 261 acres, 95 percent contained

Lower temperature and higher humidity allowed all fires to be kept within their current perimeters overnight, while moderate weather conditions on Wednesday allowed for "good progress toward building and strengthening containment lines," Cal Fire noted in the report.

An evacuation warning is in place for parts of the Inskip, Philbrook Road and Browns Ravine Road areas, while "Skyway Road is closed south of Butte Meadows at Butte Creek to the Humbug Y." See Cal Fire's full report for details.

River Fire

  • Acres: 48,424
  • Containment: 58 percent
  • Location: Monterey County
  • Fatalities: 0
  • Structures threatened: 181
  • Structures destroyed: 30
  • Structures damaged: 13

Infrared technology was used to help detect "hidden hot spots not seen to the eye. Firefighting crews keep working on reinforcing containment lines along Arroyo Seco Rd," the latest Cal Fire report Wednesday at 7 p.m. local time noted.

Evacuation orders and warnings remain in effect across parts of the county. See Cal Fire's full report for details.

The latest numbers on the Aug. Lightning Siege. More information at https://t.co/6s2QmGvwFi pic.twitter.com/coD0Yq11Ih

— CAL FIRE (@CAL_FIRE) August 26, 2020

Lake Fire

  • Acres: 31,089
  • Containment: 70 percent
  • Location: Los Angeles County
  • Fatalities: 0
  • Structures threatened: 1,329
  • Structures destroyed: 12
  • Structures damaged: 6

"Crews have been patrolling and mopping up (looking for hotspots within containment lines) in the area of Redrock Mountain...small amounts of smoke from pockets of vegetation that continue to burn in the fire's interior continues to be visible, especially from Pine Mountain Road," Cal Fire noted in its latest report Wednesday at 7:34 p.m. local time.

The Angeles National Forest has closed all National Forest System lands within the Lake Fire closure area. The fire danger level of the forest was changed from "very high" to "extreme" on August 1.

The upper and lower lakes and recreation facilities of the Castaic Lake Recreation Area remain closed until further notice, with the surrounding areas being used to support fire operations, the report noted.

Carmel Fire

  • Acres: 6,695
  • Containment: 55 percent
  • Location: San Benito and Monterey counties
  • Fatalities: 0
  • Structures threatened: 349
  • Structures destroyed: 73
  • Structures damaged: 7

"Firefighting efforts along with improved weather conditions continue to improve fire conditions. Dozers and handcrews have improved the fire perimeter and contingency lines," Cal Fire noted in its latest report Wednesday 7 p.m. local time.

"Smoldering will be observed within the inside of the interior containment lines. This will continue to burn and will not pose a threat as long as it remains within the containment area," the report added.

Evacuation orders and warnings have been lifted in parts of Monterey County, including Zones 17, 18, 20 and 21, while parts of Zones 7 and 19 remain under evacuation orders.

Several other zones remain fully under evacuation orders. See Cal Fire's full report for details.

Other fire updates

Sheep Fire in Plumas County: 28,980 acres; 16 percent contained

Moc Fire in Tuolumne County: 2,800 acres; 70 percent contained

Perry Fire in Placer County: 10 acres; 60 percent contained

LNU Lightning Complex Fire California August 2020
An aircraft drops fire retardant on a ridge during the Walbridge fire, part of the larger LNU Lightning Complex fire in California, on August 20, 2020. Josh Edelson/AFP via Getty Images