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LAKEPORT, Calif. — The largest wildfire ever recorded in California needed just 11 days to blacken an area nearly the size of Los Angeles — and it’s only one of many enormous blazes that could make this the worst fire season in state history.

Some 14,000 firefighters from as far away as Florida and even New Zealand are struggling to curb 18 fires in the midst of a sweltering summer that has seen wind-whipped flames carve their way through national forest land and
rural areas, threaten urban areas, and incinerate neighborhoods.

California is seeing earlier, longer, and more destructive wildfire seasons because of drought, warmer weather attributed to climate change, and home construction deeper into the forests.

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