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.
On August 19, 2020 , California Governor Gavin Newsom reported that the state was battling 367 known fires , many sparked by intense thunderstorms on August 16–17 caused by moisture from the remnants of Tropical Storm Fausto.
|2020 California wildfires|
|← 2019 2021 →|
August Complex Fire now the largest in recent California history, Creek Fire breaks top 10. The August Complex Fire in Northern California is now the largest fire in the state since record-keeping began.
According to a press release by Cal Fire , the fire began on September 5, 2020, at 10:23 a.m. in El Dorado Ranch Park, Yucaipa. A smoke-generating pyrotechnic device caught fire and from there the flames spread from the park to the north onto the Yucaipa Ridge.
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.
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.
The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, known as Cal Fire , blamed a “smoke-generating pyrotechnic device, used during a gender reveal party” for the start of the blaze. In recent years, several large-scale parties have gone wrong, even resulting in the death of a woman in 2019.
As of Tuesday, more than two million acres have burned across the state so far in 2020, which makes this a record year, surpassing 2018, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.
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.
The forest fire that incinerated northern British Columbia and Alberta grew to a final size of over 3.5 million acres. The largest wildfire in modern history was the Black Friday Bushfire in Australia’s Victoria State in January 1939, burning some 4.9 million acres and claiming 71 lives.
August Complex fire
These massive fires are driven by a combination of things such as climate change, difficult wind conditions, and years of fire suppression.
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 .
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.