List of wildfires

This is a list of notable wildfires.

Asia

China

  • 1987 – The Black Dragon Fire burnt a total of 72,884 square kilometres (28,141 sq mi) of forest along the Amur river, with three million acres (4687.5 square miles) destroyed on the Chinese side.[1]

Hong Kong

Indonesia

  • During the 1997 Indonesian forest fires 97,000 km2 (37,000 sq mi) of forest were destroyed, more than 2.6 gigatonnes of CO2 was released to the atmosphere. There are other forest fires in Java and Sulawesi on the same year.
  • Huge forest fires that officials deemed as "too furious for human intervention" burned 52,000 hectares of land in Sumatra and 138,000 hectares in Kalimantan. The haze covered countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, Brunei, Burma, Philippines and also Vietnam. In Singapore, some of the 2015 FINA Swimming World Cup's events on 3 October 2015 were cancelled as the PSI was in the 'Unhealthy' range. In Thailand, the haze from Sumatra had turned most parts of southern Thailand such as Narathiwat, Pattani, Phuket, Satun, Songkhla, Surat Thani, Trang and Yala provinces unsightly, even reaching hazardous levels on 7 October. In Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City and other provinces in Southern Vietnam had been enveloped in fog since 4 December

Israel

  1. 1989 Mount Carmel forest fire
  2. 1995 Jerusalem forest fire[3]
  3. The 2010 Mount Carmel forest fire in Israel, Started on 2 December 2010 and burned 41 km2 of forest, killing as many as 44 people, most of them Israel Prison Service officer cadets, when a bus evacuating them was trapped in flames.
  4. 22 November 2016 Haifa, Zikhron Ya'akov, Gilon wildfires

Japan

  • 27 April 1971 – 340 hectares (840 acres) was lost in a forest fire at Kure, western Honshu, Japan. Construction workers were using fire in order to wither weeds when a strong wind moved through the area, fueling the fire; 18 firefighters were killed. The fire lasted for one day.

South Korea

  • April 2000, Gangwon-do Gangneung wildfire
  • March 2013, Gyeongsangbukdo Pohang wildfire.
  • April 2019, Gangwon Province wildfire. The wildfire lasted three days. This massive conflagration burned 1,307 acres of land and destroyed over 2,000 buildings. Around thirty people were injured and the fire resulted in two deaths.

India

Arctic

According to the WTO in June 2019 arctic wildfires emitted 50 megatonnes of CO2. This was more than between 2010-2018 combined. Most carbon release was from Alaska and Siberia, but also included other arctic areas e.g. in Alberta. In Siberia temperature was about 10C higher in June 2019 than the average. In Alaska on the 4 July 2019 temperature was 32C (80F).[4]

Europe

  • July 2000: Fires in Southern Europe consumed forests and buildings in southern France, parts of Iberia, Corsica, and much of Italy including the southern part: caused by the heatwave dominating southern Europe, with 40 to 45 °C temperatures
  • 2009 Mediterranean wildfires in France, Greece, Italy, Spain, and Turkey in July 2009

Croatia

  • 2007 Croatian coast fires, burning 1,590 km2 (610 sq mi)
  • Summer 2017: Croatian wildfires, a series of wildfires burning in Istria all the way down to Dalmatia. One wildfire also entered eastern suburbs of Split. The fire also affected islands of Vir, Pag and some other islands.

France

  • The 1949 Landes Forest Fire burned 50.000 ha of forest land and killed 82 people.
  • The 1983 Forest Fire burned 25.000 ha of forest land and killed 239 people.

Germany

Greece

  • 2000 forest fires in Greece, a series of forest fires affected Greece including Agioi Theodoroi and eastern Corinthia at the beginning of July 2000
  • 2005 East Attica Fire in Greece – Forest fires ravaged East Attica on 28 July 2005 from Agia Triada Rafinas to west of Rafina. The fires began at around 11:00 (EET/UTC+3) consuming 70 square kilometers of forests, properties and farmlands. The fire spread quickly after a few hours with winds of up to 55 to 70 km/h and spread near the suburban housings of Athens near Rafina causing dense smoke. The fire reached Kallitechnio and the settlements by around 3:30 (EET) and devastated homes leaving some people homeless and evacuated people in areas around Agia Triada Rafinas, Agia Kyriaki Rafinas, Kallitechnio, Loutsa, Neos Vourtzas and the Rafina area mostly on the hillside areas. Pine trees were devastated. Firefighters didn't put out the blaze until the winds calmed down around 5:00 (EET). It took hundreds of fire trucks, firefighters, planes, 65 firefighting helicopters from all over the surrounding areas and most of Greece to put out the blaze. A stretch of Marathonos Avenue became closed.
  • 29 July 2005 – a day after the enormous Attica fire, another series of fires occurred throughout Greece, entirely in Preveza including Monolithi consuming properties and a campground, Ioannina and Xiromeni of Aetolia-Acarnania.
  • 2007 Greek forest fires
  • 2009 Greek forest fires
  • 2012 Chios forest fire
  • 2018 Greek wildfires

Poland

  • 1992: Kuźnia Raciborska fire in Poland burned 90.62 km² of forest and killed two firefighters on 26 August 1992. A third casualty is often mentioned, but she did not die in the fire; she was involved in a collision with a fire engine that skidded.
  • 1992: Puscza nad notecią fire in Poland burned 6 k HA of forest on 10 August 1992. This wildfire damaged 6.k HA of forest in 10 hours.

Portugal

Russia


Spain

Sweden

United Kingdom

North America

Canada and the United States

From 2007 to 2017, wildfires burned an average of 6.2 and 6.6 million acres/year in the U.S. and Canada, respectively.[14] † Indicates a currently burning fire

YearSizeNameAreaNotes
18253,000,000 acres (1,200,000 ha)Miramichi FireNew BrunswickKilled between 160 and 300 people.
1845 1,500,000 acres (610,000 ha)[15] The Great Fire Oregon
1853 450,000 acres (180,000 ha)[15] The Yaquina Fire Oregon
1868 300,000 acres (120,000 ha)[15] The Coos Fire Oregon
1870964,000 acres (390,000 ha)[16]Saguenay Fire[17][18]Quebec
18711,200,000 acres (490,000 ha)Peshtigo FireWisconsinKilled between 1,200 and 2,500 people and has the distinction of being the conflagration that caused the most deaths by fire in United States history. It was overshadowed by the Great Chicago Fire that occurred on the same day.
18712,500,000 acres (1,000,000 ha)The Great Michigan FireMichiganIt was overshadowed by the Great Chicago Fire that occurred on the same day.
1876500,000 acres (200,000 ha)Bighorn FireWyoming
18811,000,000 acres (400,000 ha)Thumb FireMichiganKilled 282 people
1889300,000 acres (120,000 ha)Santiago Canyon Fire of 1889California
1894160,000 acres (65,000 ha)Hinckley FireMinnesotaKilled 418+ people and destroyed 12 towns
1898 2,500,000 acres (1,000,000 ha)[15] South Carolina
1902238,900 acres (96,700 ha)Yacolt BurnWashington (state) and Oregon65+ deaths
1903464,000 acres (188,000 ha)Adirondack FireNew York
1908 64,000 acres

(25,900 ha)

1908 Fernie Fire British Columbia Town of Fernie, BC destroyed. 22 casualties reported. Cause: logging slash.[19]
19103,000,000 acres (1,200,000 ha)Great Fire of 1910Idaho and
Montana
87 people (incl. 78 firefighters) killed and several towns destroyed across North Idaho and Western Montana. ~2,000 separate blazes burned an area the size of Connecticut in what is believed to be the largest fire in U.S. history.[20]
1911500,000 acres (200,000 ha)Great Porcupine FireOntarioKilled between 73 and 200 people
1916500,000 acres (200,000 ha)Great Matheson FireOntarioKilled 223 people according to official figures, and destroyed several towns, Cochrane burnt again after just five years.
1918100,000 acres (40,000 ha)Cloquet FireMinnesota and
Wisconsin
Killed 453 people
1919 5,000,000 acres

(2,023,000 ha)

Great Fire of 1919 Alberta and Saskatchewan Spanning from Lac La Biche, AB to almost Prince Albert, SK. Village of Lac La Biche destroyed. 300+ people homeless. An estimated $200,000 in property damage.

Cause: drought, high winds, lightning. Forest Fire area burned is an estimation.[21][22]

1922415,000 acres (168,000 ha)Great Fire of 1922OntarioKilled 43 people and burnt through 18 townships in the Timiskaming District
1923 Giant Berkeley Fire California Leveled 50 city blocks, destroying 624 buildings[15]
1932220,000 acres (89,000 ha)Matilija FireCalifornia
1933 47 acres (19 ha) 1933 Griffith Park Fire California Killed 29 firefighters and injured more than 150[15]
1937 1,700 acres (690 ha) Blackwater Creek Fire Wyoming Killed 15 firefighters[15]
1947175,000 acres (71,000 ha)The Great Fires of 1947MaineA series of fires that lasted ten days; 16 people killed. Forest fire destroyed part of Bar Harbor and damaged Acadia National Park.
1948645,000 acres (261,000 ha)Mississagi/Chapleau fireOntario
19494,500 acres (1,800 ha)Mann Gulch fireMontana12 firefighters who parachuted near the fire and 1 forest ranger died after being overtaken by a 200-foot wall of fire at the top of a gulch near Helena, Montana.
19503,500,000 acres (1,400,000 ha)Chinchaga FireBritish Columbia and AlbertaLargest single North American fire on record. The B.C. portion was just 90,000 ha.[23]
19531,300 acres (530 ha)Rattlesnake FireCaliforniaKilled 15 firefighters. Well known textbook case used to train firefighters.
195640,000 acres (16,000 ha)Cleveland National FireCaliforniaStarted November 25th. Fire destroyed 40,000 acres in Cleveland National Forest and caused 11 deaths.
1958558,260 acres (225,920 ha)Kech FireBritish ColumbiaLargest wildfire in BC history[23][24] until the 2017 Plateau Fire of 521,012 hectares.[25]
196116,090 acres (6,510 ha)Bel Air FireCalifornia484 homes destroyed and ~112 injuries.
1963183,000 acres (74,000 ha)Black Saturday FireNew Jersey400 buildings destroyed and 7 people killed.[26]
1970175,425 acres (70,992 ha)Laguna FireCalifornia382 homes destroyed and 8 people killed.
197710,000 acres (4,000 ha)Marble Cone FireCaliforniaVandenberg Air Force Base, 4 people killed including the base commander, and two fire chiefs.[27][28]
198345,000 acres (18,000 ha)Swiss FireBritish ColumbiaHouston, British Columbia, destroyed 7 residences
198593,000 acres (38,000 ha)Allen FireNorth CarolinaIn 1985, nearly 93,000 acres of forest, wetlands and farmland burned in northeastern North Carolina in one of the biggest fires in modern state history[29]
1987650,000 acres (260,000 ha)Siege of 1987California and OregonThese fires were started by a large lightning storm in late August. The storm started roughly 1600 new fires, most caused by dry lightning.[30]
1988793,880 acres (321,270 ha)Yellowstone fires of 1988Wyoming and
Montana
Never controlled by firefighters; only burned out when a snowstorm hit.
1989 8,105,000 acres

(3,280,000 ha)

The Manitoba Fires Manitoba 1147 wildfires in central and northern Manitoba in the spring & summer of 1989. 24,500 people evacuated from 32 communities. Over 100 homes destroyed. Worst fire season in province's history. Cause: severe drought, human and natural ignition sources.[31]
19905,000 acres (2,000 ha)Painted Cave FireCalifornia1 death and 430 buildings burned in this arson fire near Santa Barbara
19911,520 acres (620 ha)Oakland Hills firestormCaliforniaKilled 25 and destroyed 3469 homes and apartments within the cities of Oakland and Berkeley
199314,337 acres (5,802 ha)Laguna Beach FireCaliforniaDestroyed 441 homes, burned 14,337 acres causing $528,000,000 in damage.[32]
19942,115 acres (856 ha)South Canyon fireColoradoKilled 14 firefighters
199512,354 acres (4,999 ha)Mount Vision FireCalifornia45 homes destroyed
199637,336 acres (15,109 ha)Miller's Reach FireAlaskaMost destructive wildfire in Alaska history. 344 structures destroyed.
1998506,000 acres (205,000 ha)1998 Florida wildfiresFlorida4899 fires, burned 342 homes, $390 million timber lost.[33]
1998 14,800 acres

(6,000 ha)

Silver Creek Fire British Columbia Immediately SW of Salmon Arm, BC. Cause was lightning. Approximately 7,000 people evacuated. Over 40 buildings destroyed. It cost over $10,000,000 to extinguish.[22]
1999140,948 acres (57,040 ha)Big Bar Complex FireCaliforniaStarted August 1999
200048,000 acres (19,000 ha)Cerro Grande FireNew MexicoBurned about 420 dwellings in Los Alamos, New Mexico, damaged >100 buildings at Los Alamos National Laboratory; $1 billion damage, second worst fire in state's recorded history
20019,300 acres (3,800 ha)Thirty Mile FireWashingtonKilled 4 firefighters
200292,000 acres (37,000 ha)Ponil Complex FireNew Mexicoalso called the Philmont Fire.
2002150,700 acres (61,000 ha)McNally FireCaliforniaLargest fire in Sequoia National Forest history.
2002467,066 acres (189,015 ha)Rodeo-Chediski fireArizonaThreatened, but did not burn the town of Show Low, Arizona
2002137,760 acres (55,750 ha)Hayman Fire in Pike National ForestColoradoThe largest wildfire in Colorado's history. Five firefighter deaths, 600 structures fires
2002499,750 acres (202,240 ha)Florence/Sour Biscuit Complex FireOregon150 million dollars to suppress.
200384,750 acres (34,300 ha)Aspen FireArizonaDestroyed large portions of Summerhaven, Arizona
200361,776 acres (25,000 ha)Okanagan Mountain Park FireBritish ColumbiaDisplaced 45,000 inhabitants, destroyed 239 homes and threatened urbanized sections of Kelowna.
200390,769 acres (36,733 ha)B&B Complex firesOregonBurned along the crest of the Cascade Mountains between Mount Washington and Mount Jefferson including 40,419 acres (163.57 km2) within the Mount Jefferson Wilderness.
200391,281 acres (36,940 ha)Old FireCalifornia993 homes destroyed, 6 deaths. Simultaneous with the Cedar Fire.
2003273,246 acres (110,579 ha)Cedar Fire (2003)CaliforniaThird largest recorded fire in modern California history; burned 2,232 homes and killed 15 in San Diego County.
20041,305,592 acres (528,354 ha)Taylor Complex FireAlaskaLargest wildfire by acreage of 1997–2007 time period
200640,200 acres (16,300 ha)Esperanza FireCaliforniaArson-caused wildfire that killed 5 firefighters and destroyed 34 homes and 20 outbuildings.
2006160,000 acres (65,000 ha)Day FireCalifornia1 residence burned, no casualties.
2007564,450 acres (228,420 ha)Sweat Farm Road/Big Turnaround Complex FireGeorgiaLargest recorded fire in Georgia history. 26 structures were lost.
2007124,584 acres (50,417 ha)Florida Bugaboo FireFloridaLargest fire on record in Florida.
200718,000 acres (7,300 ha)Warren Grove FireNew JerseyForest fire in the New Jersey Pine Barrens caused by a flare form an F-16 jet. Destroyed 4 homes, damaged 53 homes, injured 2.[34]
2007363,052 acres (146,922 ha)Milford Flat FireUtahLargest fire on record in Utah.
2007653,100 acres (264,300 ha)Murphy Complex FireIdaho and Nevada
2007240,207 acres (97,208 ha)Zaca FireCaliforniaStarted July 2007. Second largest California fire at the time after the Cedar fire of 2003.
2007972,000 acres (393,000 ha)California wildfires of October 2007CaliforniaA series of wildfires that killed 9 people and injured 85 (including 61 firefighters). Burned at least 1,500 homes from the Santa Barbara County to the U.S.–Mexico border.
200841,534 acres (16,808 ha)Evans Road WildfireNorth CarolinaPeat fire started on 1 June by lightning strike during North Carolina's drought – the worst on record.
20081,557,293 acres (630,214 ha)Summer 2008 California wildfiresCaliforniaIn Northern California, the fires were mostly started by lightning. In Santa Barbara (Southern California), the Gap fire endangered homes and lives. The Basin Complex and Gap fire were the highest priority fires in the state at this time.
200919,130 acres (7,740 ha)Highway 31 FireSouth CarolinaBrush fire in Myrtle Beach, the most destructive fire in terms of loss in state history. Destroyed 76 homes and damaged 97.[35]
2009164,500 acres (66,600 ha)Brittany Triangle FireBritish ColumbiaAlso known as the Lava Canyon fire this was the largest fire in BC in 2009. Started 31 July by lightning this fire made news when it threatened a wild horse population.[36]
201098,842 acres (40,000 ha)Binta Lake FireBritish ColumbiaBC's largest blaze of 2010, resulted in evacuation orders and alerts. Burned 70,000 acres in a 12-hour period.[23]
2011538,049 acres (217,741 ha)Wallow FireArizona and New MexicoThe largest fire in Arizona state history. In one 24-hour burn period (6/6-6/7), it consumed 77769 acres of forest land.
201134,000 acres (14,000 ha)Bastrop County Complex fireTexasThe worst fire in Texas state history, destroyed over 1500 homes
20111,748,636 acres (707,648 ha)Richardson Backcountry FireAlbertaThe largest Canadian fire since 1950.
2011156,293 acres (63,250 ha)Las Conchas FireNew MexicoSecond largest fire in New Mexico state history. 63 homes lost. Threatened Los Alamos National Laboratory.
201112,000 acres (4,900 ha)Slave Lake WildfireAlbertaBurned through Slave Lake, Alberta, Canada and its surrounding area from 14 May 2011 through 16 May 2011. The fire destroyed roughly one-third of Slave Lake and cost $1.8 billion.
2012289,478 acres (117,148 ha)Whitewater-Baldy Complex FireNew MexicoLargest wildfire in New Mexico state history. Began in the Gila Wilderness as two separate fires that converged, both started by lightning. Destroyed 12 homes in Willow Creek, NM.
201244,330 acres (17,940 ha)Little Bear FireNew MexicoMost destructive wildfire in New Mexico state history. Began in the Lincoln National Forest and was started by lightning.
201287,284 acres (35,323 ha)High Park FireColoradoStarted by lightning, it is the second largest wildfire in Colorado state history by size.
201218,247 acres (7,384 ha)Waldo Canyon FireColoradoRampart Range and West Colorado Springs with 346 homes destroyed primarily in the Mountain Shadows neighborhood, it is the second most destructive fire in state history. Two fatalities reported.
2012248,000 acres (100,000 ha)Ash Creek Fire[37]Montana
2012719,694 acres (291,250 ha)Long Draw Fire and Miller Homestead FireOregonOregon's largest fire in 150 years.
2012332,000 acres (134,000 ha)Mustang Complex WildfireIdaho[38]
2012315,557 acres (127,701 ha)Rush FireCalifornia and Nevada
201314,198 acres (5,746 ha)[39]Black Forest FireColoradoNorth of Colorado Springs, Large, fast-spreading fire due to dry conditions, high heat and restless winds. Destroyed 509 homes and left 17 homes partially damaged. As of 13 June 2013 it became the most destructive fire in Colorado state history.
20131,300 acres (530 ha)[40]Yarnell Hill FireArizona19 firefighters killed on 30 June 2013.
2013617,763 acres (250,000 ha)[41]Quebec FireQuebecOver 300 evacuated.
2013253,332 acres (102,520 ha)[42]Rim FireCaliforniaOccurred in Yosemite National Park. Biggest wildfire on record in the Sierra Nevada, and fourth largest wildfire in California history. Started 17 August 2013 and was contained on 24 October 2013.
2014252,000 acres (102,000 ha)[43]Carlton Complex FireWashingtonFour wildfires merged to become the largest single wildfire in Washington state history.[44] (Of the 3,000,000 acres Great Fire of 1910, only 150,000 acres were in Washington.)
20148,400,000 acres (3,400,000 ha)[45]2014 Northwest Territories firesNorthwest TerritoriesSaid to have been the largest set of wildfires in 30 years in the Northwest Territories. Total cost of firefighting was between C$55 and C$56 million compared to the normal budget C$7.5 million. There were no reported deaths.[45][46]
2015302,224 acres (122,306 ha)Okanogan ComplexWashingtonThe largest wildfire complex in Washington state history.[47]
2016367,620 acres (148,770 ha)[48]Anderson Creek FireKansas and OklahomaLargest wildfire in Kansas history.[49]
20161,466,990 acres (593,670 ha)[50][51]Fort McMurray WildfireAlberta and SaskatchewanLargest fire evacuation in Alberta history (88,000 on 3 May, a further 8,000 on 16 May). Over 2,400 homes and buildings destroyed. Costliest disaster in Canadian history.
20173,004,932 acres (1,216,053 ha)[52]2017 British Columbia wildfiresBritish ColumbiaThe 2017 BC fire season is notable for three reasons; first, for the largest total area burnt in a fire season in recorded history; second, for the largest number of total evacuees in a fire season (Estimated 65,000 evacuees); and third, for the largest single fire ever in British Columbia.[53]
20171,295,000 acres (524,000 ha)2017 Montana wildfiresMontanaContained thanks to the rain and snow by mid-September.
2017240,000 acres (97,000 ha)[54]October 2017 Northern California wildfiresCaliforniaThe October 2017 Northern California wildfires were a large group of forest fires that killed 44 people and destroyed 8,900 structures.
2017281,893 acres (114,078 ha)Thomas FireCaliforniaLargest wildfire in modern California history at the time (see 1889 Santiago Canyon fire that may have been larger). Spread fast due to strong winds and unusual dry weather in December.[55]
20183,346,508 acres (1,354,284 ha)[52]2018 British Columbia wildfiresBritish ColumbiaInitial estimates put 2018 as the largest total burn-area in any British Columbia wildfire season, surpassing the historic 2017 wildfire season.[56]
2018459,102 acres (185,792 ha)Mendocino Complex FireCalifornia229 structures destroyed, 2 reported deaths
2018229,651 acres (92,936 ha)Carr FireCalifornia1,604 structures destroyed, 8 reported deaths
201896,949 acres (39,234 ha)Woolsey FireCalifornia1,643 structures destroyed, 3 fatalities, 5 injuries
2018149,000 acres (60,000 ha)Camp FireCalifornia18,804 structures destroyed, 85 confirmed deaths, 2 missing, 17 injured, deadliest and most destructive wildfire in California to date.[57][58]

Greenland

Some wildfires occurred in Greenland in August 2017.[59]

There was a large wildfire between Sisimiut and Kangerlussuaq from July to August 2019.[60] It was put out by members of Beredskabsstyrelsen, who were flown in.

Oceania

Australia

New Zealand

South America

Bolivia

Brazil

Chile

Ecuador

See also

References

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