How big are the California wildfires?

For a quick bit of perspective: The Thomas Fire (the huge one burning in California right now), has burned 259,000 acres and is only 40% contained. At 640 acres per square mile, that's just over 400 square miles that have burned or are on fire right now. For comparison, Polk County is 592 square miles, so the area affected by this one fire (out of several burning right now) is two-thirds the size of Polk County. 

It's as if a box including everything from Altoona west to the county line, and from as far north as Madrid to as far south as Carlisle, were on fire or already burnt. And with containment only on two out of every five miles of perimeter. Our thoughts should be with them -- just as they should remain with our fellow Americans in places like Houston and San Juan.

You heard it first on WHO Radio if you were tuned in on Saturday afternoon:

Brian Gongol

Brian Gongol

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