With more than 39.7 million residents, California is the most populous state in the US. Furthermore, with a total area of 163,696 square miles, it’s the third-largest state in the country. Admittedly, California is popular for a lot of things, and one of them is that it takes the lead when it comes to agricultural production. It’s also the home of popular national parks and national institutions such as Disneyland, Hollywood, and many more. Besides that, California is also known for its windy, dry, and hot weather condition during the spring and autumn periods, which often cause wildfires. Speaking of wildfires, they started in California way back, in 1932, however, the top 10 largest of them happened since 2000.
As of last month, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection reported that more than two million acres of land have burned across the state, only in 2020. The department also added that the record surpassed that of 2018. Furthermore, according to the Cal Fire department, the August Complex Fire occupies the first position on the top 10 list of the largest wildfires in California. Next on the list is the Mendocino Complex Fire, which happened in 2018. In case you’re interested in the full list of the top 10 largest wildfires in California, you can scroll down for it.
Here’s The Top 10 List Of The Largest Wildfires In California
1- August Complex Fire (August 2020)
As mentioned earlier, the August Complex Fire occupies the first spot on our top 10 list of the largest wildfires in California. That’s so because the fire incident affected over 1,002,097 acres in the Coastal Region of Northern California, including Glenn, Lake, Mendocino, Tehama, and Trinity. Apart from that, it also destroyed about 160 structures, with one firefighter dead and two others injured.
2- Mendocino Complex Fire (July 2018)
Sitting on the second spot on the list of the top 10 largest wildfires in California is the Mendocino Complex Fire. As for this fire incident, it started in July 2018 and lasted for more than four months. Furthermore, the wildfire incident burned about 459,123 acres in northern California, including Mendocino, Lake, Colusa, and Glenn. It also affected about 260 structures, with one firefighter dead.
3- SCU Lightning Complex (August 2020)
With a total of about 396,624 acres burned in areas like Santa Clara, Alameda, Contra Costa, San Joaquin, Merced, and Stanislaus, SCU Lightning Complex occupies the third spot on this list. Furthermore, the fire incident destroyed about 222 structures, however, no death cases recorded.
4- LNU Lightning Complex Fire (August 2020)
The LNU Lightning Complex Fire occupies the fourth position on the top 10 largest wildfires in California. That is so because it affected about 363,220 acres in a few areas, including Colusa, Lake, Napa, Sonoma, Solano, and Yolo. Apart from that, the wildfire incident also destroyed about 1,491 structures and led to the death of about five firefighters.
5- Creek Fire (September 2020)
The Creek Fire, which burned in over 328,603 in Fresno and Madera, is considered as the largest single source wildfire in California history. The fire incident occurred in September 2020, destroying more than 850 structures. Fortunately, however, it didn’t have any effect on human lives.
6- North Complex Fire (August 2020)
The North Complex Fire sits on the sixth spot on the top 10 list of the largest wildfires in California. That’s because it affected about 318,724 acres in Plumas and Butte. Besides that, the wildfire incident also destroyed more than 2,352 structures. Unfortunately, about 15 people lost their lives during the fire incident.
7- Thomas Fire (December 2017)
The Thomas Fire, which occurred about three years ago, occupies the seventh spot on this list. And that’s mostly because it burned about 281,893 acres in areas, including Ventura and Santa Barbara. Apart from that, the wildfire also destroyed about 1,063 structures and led to the death of two firefighters.
8- Cedar Fire (October 2003)
Occupying the eighth spot on this list is the Cedar Fire. Speaking of the wildfire incident, it destroyed about 2,820 structures and burned about 273,246 acres in San Diego. Apart from that, the fire incident also led to the death of about 15 firefighters.
9- Rush Fire (August 2012)
The Rush Fire, which happened in August 2012, sits on the ninth position on the top 10 largest wildfires in California. That’s because the fire incident destroyed about 271,911 acres in Lassen County in the state. Apart from that, the wildfire also extended to Nevada, destroying about 43,666 acres there. Fortunately, there were no death cases recorded and no structures were destroyed as well.
10- Rim Fire (August 2013)
Occupying the last position on the top 10 largest wildfires in California is the Rim Fire. Going into details, the wildfire incident occurred in August 2013 and destroyed up to 112 structures. Apart from that, it also burned about 257,314 acres in Tuolumne County of the state.