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Record Wildfires

FOREST ON FIRE The Creek Fire burns near Fresno, in central California, on September 7. KENT NISHIMURA—LOS ANGELES TIMES/GETTY IMAGES

Dozens of wildfires are tearing through California. Two of them are among the three largest in the state’s history. Those fires are burning not far from San Francisco.

“The wildfire situation throughout California is dangerous and must be taken seriously,” Randy Moore told the AP. Moore is with the U.S. Forest Service.

In an average California fire season, about 300,000 acres burn. This year, wildfires have already destroyed more than 2 million acres.

Hundreds of people have been rescued by helicopter. At press time, fires had killed at least seven people. More than 3,300 structures were damaged.

More fires are likely. Peak wildfire season is just getting started in California. By now, summer heat has dried out plant life. High winds are common.

Parts of the Pacific Northwest are also burning. Thousands have lost power in Oregon. And in Washington, most of the small town of Malden was destroyed by flames.

Stop and Think! Why do you think news outlets report on severe weather events? What kinds of information does the article provide to help readers understand these events?