Wave of wildfires has now claimed nearly 2,000 properties

Destroyed residential and commercial buildings is hundreds more than at start of week

Firefighters work to protect homes surrounding residences engulfed in flames. CZU Lightning Complex fires. (Credit: Dylan Bouscher/MediaNews Group/The Mercury News via Getty Images)
Firefighters work to protect homes surrounding residences engulfed in flames. CZU Lightning Complex fires. (Credit: Dylan Bouscher/MediaNews Group/The Mercury News via Getty Images)

Wildfires have so far killed seven people and destroyed nearly 2,000 structures across California, and could end up consuming hundreds more properties before they are doused.

A preliminary assessment of the damage suggested that more than 3,000 structures could be destroyed in the near term, firefighters said, according to the Los Angeles Times. The total currently stands at around 1,700.

The total so far is up from around 1,000 residential and commercial structures destroyed and 1.3 million acres burned as of Sunday.

Two fires still raging — the SCU Lightning Complex fire and the CZU Lightning Complex fire — are the second- and third-largest fires in the state’s history.

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Both are burning across a handful of counties in the Bay Area and Central Valley. The SCU fire has burned nearly 370,000 acres and was 30 percent contained as of Wednesday morning. The CZU fire has burned 81,000 acres and was 21 percent contained.

Firefighters have battled more than 700 wildfires since a wave of lightning strikes hit this month.

Those strikes continue — Gov. Gavin Newsom said there were around 423 additional strikes and 50 new fires reported in a 24-hour period that ended early Wednesday. Newsom said all 50 of those fires were suppressed.

State, local and federal authorities have mobilized more than 15,000 firefighters and other emergency personnel, 2,400 fire engines, 300 bulldozers and 370 water tenders to fight the fires. [LAT]Dennis Lynch