By IVAN PEREIRA, ABC News
(LOS ANGELES) — The massive deadly infernos have become the second and third largest fires in state history and as firefighters work tirelessly, businesses in Santa Cruz are being looted.
As California continues to battle raging wildfires across the state, it’s getting help from neighbors across the country.
The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, or Cal Fire, said it has received assistance from the U.S. military and from other states who have sent firefighters, equipment and other resources to fight the state’s two dozen major fires.
Since Aug. 15, there have been nearly 14,000 lightning strikes in the state, and more than 700 wildfires, which have now burned over 1.32 million acres — an area bigger than Delaware, according to Cal Fire.
There are roughly 15,000 California firefighters working on the fires, which are predominantly in the central and northern regions. About 91 fire engines from nine western states have been assigned to incidents, according to Cal Fire.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said that he sent 10 state wildland firefighters to the West Coast to help with California and other states that have seen a jump in dangerous wildfires.
“I thank these brave men and women for stepping up and showing just what New York tough really means,” Cuomo said in a statement.
The LNU Lightning Complex and the CSU Lightning Complex fires are now ranked No. 2 and No. 3 on the list of all-time biggest wildfires in California history, Cal Fire said. The Mendocino Complex fire in July of 2018 remains the largest.
The agency warned that firefighters will have a tough road ahead with new weather conditions. A marine layer is expected to raise the humidity and lower the temperatures in some areas, but winds will be gusting between 15-20 mph, according to Cal Fire.
“This can make firefighting conditions challenging during those times for the next couple days,” the agency said in a statement. “Warmer conditions are expected over the weekend. Isolated thunderstorms are still possible in the upper portion of northern California and the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range.”
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