Firefighters from the Saint Luis Obispo (SLO) Fire Department watched as flames leapt while defending structures near the Lick Observatory on August 19, as wildfires ravaged vast areas of California.
SLO City Fire said they would defend buildings and critical infrastructure in the area through the night.
Several large wildfires were burning in the state at the time, the largest of which was the SCU Lightning Complex which was estimated to have spread to 85,000 acres on August 19.
CAL FIRE reported almost 11,000 lightning strikes had occurred across the state over a number of days leading up to August 19, sparking 370 new fires. Around 7,000 firefighters – from national and interstate agencies – were battling blazes across the state, according to CAL FIRE.
Smoke can be seen covering most of the state, moving into the Pacific Ocean and as far away as the state of Montana in satellite images from the National Ocean and Atmosphere Administration. Credit: SLO City Fire via Storyful