By JULIET WILLIAMS and JOCELYN GECKER Associated Press
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 has left California much drier, meaning trees and other plants are more flammable. Officials say this year’s blazes eclipse anything they’ve seen.