A firefighter douses flames as they push towards homes during the Creek fire in Madera County, Calif., on Monday. Photo: Josh Edelson/AFP via Getty Images

7,563 wildfires in California have burned across 2,178,015 acres this year, killing eight people and destroying or damaging 3,867 structures as of Monday, as firefighters battle two dozen major blazes in the state, per Cal Fire.

Why it matters: It's the most land burned by wildfires in California on record. The size of land charred is 10 times bigger than New York City.

  • It breaks the previous record set in 2018, when wildfires burned across 1,893,913 acres — though that year remains the deadliest, with 85 people losing their lives.

What they're saying: Cal Fire Capt. Richard Cordova described the situation as "crazy."

  • "We haven't even got into the October and November fire season, and we've broken the all-time record," Cordova told CNN.
  • "It concerns us because we need to get these firefighters off these lines and get them breaks from battling these wildfires."

Of note: More than 14,100 firefighters are currently battling blazes in hot, dry, windy conditions.

  • "Much of California is currently under a Red Flag Warning," Cal Fire said in a statement.
  • The agency has increased staffing "in preparation for critical fire weather in multiple areas" of the state.

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Sep 18, 2020 - Podcasts

Our relationship with wildfires

Nearly 3.5 million acres of land have burned in California, making this the largest wildfire season recorded in the state’s history, and it’s only September. Fires are still raging up the entire West Coast, air quality remains unhealthy, and entire forests have been devastated.

Our relationship with forests and fire is changing and will play a big role in how forests evolve.

  • Plus, how colleges are reopening without a surge in infections.
  • And, with the start of the Jewish New Year, synagogue High Holy Day services are going virtual.

Guests: Axios' Bryan Walsh, Alison Snyder, and Erica Pandey — and Benjy Renton, senior at Middlebury College.

Credits: "Axios Today" is produced in partnership with Pushkin Industries. The team includes Niala Boodhoo, Carol Alderman, Cara Shillenn, Nuria Marquez Martinez, Sara Kehaulani Goo, Alex Sugiura and Naomi Shavin. Music is composed by Evan Viola. You can reach us at podcasts@axios.com.

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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 6:30 p.m. ET: 32,390,204 — Total deaths: 985,302 — Total recoveries: 22,286,345Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 6:30 p.m ET: 7,020,967 — Total deaths: 203,481 — Total recoveries: 2,710,183 — Total tests: 98,476,600Map.
  3. States: "We’re not closing anything going forward": Florida fully lifts COVID restaurant restrictions — Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam tests positive for coronavirus.
  4. Health: Young people accounted for 20% of cases this summer.
  5. Business: Coronavirus has made airports happier places The expiration of Pandemic Unemployment Assistance looms.
  6. Education: Where bringing students back to school is most risky.