Wildfires in California

Thomas Simard-Fournier


The State of California, USA, is Attacked by Insane Fires Every Year. Here is The History of Wildfires in California Since The Beginning of The 2000’s.


California is currently the point of interest for many international reporters. In fact, every year, the third biggest state in the United States of America is hurt by thousands of wildfires. As an example, there has been more than 145 000 fires in California since year 2000. The history of wildfires in California is something that Californians don’t like to be reminded of but the emphasis is going to be put on this. Here’s what happened since 2000 in California.

First of all, every year is tragic for Californians affected by wildfires. From the statistics, 4 particular years stand out of the 14 others. 2017, 2008, 2007 and 2003 were really the worst. Why? Because 2017, 2007 and 2003 were all in the top 6 for most fires in a year with an average of 9114 by year. For his part, 2008 is the year that had the less amount of fires, with 4932 declared fires. The 4 years mentioned earlier are the years that produced the most damage to California lands with an average of 1 270 666 acres burnt.

The 2018 most intense fires are the Camp Fire and the Woolsey Fire. The biggest one is the Camp Fire. As November 28th, Camp Fire is totally contained. Even though the event is finished, many people lost all their possessions and at least 84 people died, which makes the Camp Fire the deadliest in over a 80 years. The entire county of Paradise, in North Sacramento was burnt to a crisp. Also, more than 870 people are still missing, as of November 29th. This fire is now the leader in California for the deadiest in a single fire with a total of 84. The closest is the Griffith Park Fire, which has killed ‘only’ 29 people back in October of 1933. The Camp Fire has burnt more than 130 000 acres between November 8th and November 25th. The second largest fire for the current year is the Woolsey Fire. This fire made only three victims in term of deaths and has burnt 98 000 acres from Los Angeles to Malibu.

Obviously, as I mentioned before, crazy events like fires can affect people’s lives. As an example, the Camp Fire has destroyed over 10 300 residences, which can be roughly result in 40 000 to 65 000 people becoming homeless.

Finally, the largest fire in California history was the Mendocino Complex. The second largest is the Thomas Fire. Thomas Fire, a wildfire that occured in Los Angeles and Ventura, especially in December of 2017, became the largest wildfire in the modern California history, since Mendocino Complex surpasses it, in August of 2018. The Thomas Fire burnt approximately 280 000 acres, which beats 2004, 2005, 2010 and 2011 that all had less acres burnt with more than 6500 fires per year. This is definitely concerning for California as fires are becoming more and more dangerous and destructive.

Written by: Thomas Simard-Fournier

Edited by: Jérémie Vézina and Julien Pelletier