Claremont-bear. CA . 318,775 acres burned. Burning for 140 days. Castle. CA . 170,647 acres burned. Burning for 138 days. 95% Butte, Tehama, Glenn Lightning Complex. CA . 926 acres burned. Burning for 140 days. 98% Creek. CA . Burning for 12 days. Mountain View. CA . Burning for 48 days.
25 largest wildfires in California history 846,732. Mendocino Complex (North Bay, 2018) 459,123. SCU Complex (South Bay, 2020) 396,624. LNU Complex (North Bay, 2020) 363,220. North Complex (Butte Co., 2020) 299,723. Creek (Fresno Co., 2020) 283,724. Thomas (Ventura Co., 2017) 281,893. Cedar (San Diego Co., 2003) 273,246.
California’s August Complex fire has been described as the first “gigafire” as the area burned exceeded 1 million acres. The fire crossed seven counties and has been described as being larger than the state of Rhode Island.
|2020 California wildfires|
|← 2019 2021 →|
2 California wildfires remain out of control. Fires in the Diablo Range, also known as the SCU Lightning Complex Fire, in California , have been extinguished. The Glass Fire in wine country has burned 62,360 acres and is 10% contained, according to Cal Fire LNU.
The El Dorado Fire in Southern California was caused by a “smoke generating pyrotechnic device,” said the California Department of Forestry and Fire Prevention in a statement. The fire started Saturday morning at El Dorado Ranch Park in Yucaipa, about 72 miles east of Los Angeles.
Severe drought, extreme winds and multiple ignitions fueled the most destructive wildfires in state history. Roughly 1.07 million acres burned during the 2020 season, the second-most on record. The cost to fight the fires was also high — $354 million.
August Complex Fire
The 1871 Peshtigo Fire , Wisconsin The blaze started on October 8 1871 and burned around 1.2 million acres. At least 1 152 people were killed, making this the worst fire that claimed more lives than any of the other wildfires in US history .
The Chinchaga Fire started in logging slash in British Columbia, Canada, on 1 June 1950 that grew out of control and ended five months later on 31 October in Alberta; in that time, it burned approximately 1.2 million hectares (3 million acres) of boreal forest.
California , like much of the West, gets most of its moisture in the fall and winter. Its vegetation then spends much of the summer slowly drying out because of a lack of rainfall and warmer temperatures. That vegetation then serves as kindling for fires .
As the toll from California’s wildfires grows higher year after year, the state’s future appears fiery and hazy with smoke. More than half of the acres burned each year in the western United States can be attributed to climate change .
The state’s peak wildfire season typically runs from May through October , but wildfires can occur at any time.
The California wildfires that scorched thousands of acres and prompted mass evacuations across the state in recent weeks are largely under control , but experts warn that hot and dry conditions will continue to elevate fire risk throughout the week. All mandatory evacuation orders were lifted Saturday.
Common culprits for the worsening fire season include climate change and a lack of regular burning due to human development. Notably, the two largest fires in Northern California were caused by lightning strikes.
A freakish siege of thousands of dry lightning strikes in Northern California — a weather event on a scale not seen in decades — moved over lands parched in an era of climate change and sparked four of the five largest wildfires in modern state history, with more than 3 million acres burned in California alone.