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California wildfires are massive this year, but not the deadliest

California wildfire threatening 1,400 buildings grows
Posted at 5:40 AM, Oct 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-06 08:40:36-04

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - With months still to go in California's fire season, the state has already shattered records for the amount of land scorched in a single year.

The 8,700 buildings destroyed and 31 lives lost are high, but far from the highest - blazes in 2018 killed 100 people and destroyed 22,000 structures in the most devastating year on record.

A year earlier, at least 37 people were killed. Numerous studies have linked bigger wildfires in America to climate change that's left California much drier, meaning trees and other plants are more flammable.

Officials with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection say this year's blazes eclipse anything they've seen.