Cal Fire Report Shows 2017 Nearly Doubled the Number of Wildfires in 2016 - NBC Southern California

Cal Fire Report Shows 2017 Nearly Doubled the Number of Wildfires in 2016

Analysis shows five of the 20 most destructive fires in California history occurred in 2017

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Cal Fire's Year-End Tally is Unprecedented

    NBC 7's Dave Summers shares Cal Fire's 2017 damage report, which is nearly double the numbers of 2016. (Published Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2018)

    Cal Fire released 2017's year-end wildfire totals on Tuesday, and the numbers are startling.

    Cal Fire and many others forecasted an unprecedented increase in fire because of all the dry fuel from last year's rains, but Cal Fire's analysis of 2017 showed that five of the top 20 most destructive fires in the state's history occurred last year, and few could have predicted that.

    From San Francisco to Ventura, Los Angeles to Bonsall, fire raged through wild lands, businesses and cul-de-sacs.

    The state was plagued with fall fires due to Diablo winds to the north and Santa Ana winds in the south, which worsened conditions from the hot, dry temperatures of summer.

    Cal Fire's statistics indicate that California's most destructive and deadliest fires have occurred during fall.

    In 2017, there were 7,117 fires recorded within the Cal Fire jurisdiction, which burned 505,956 acres. This is nearly double what was reported in 2016.

    In 2016, Cal Fire recorded 4,800 fires, totaling 244,319 acres burned.

    And the 2017 totals do not even include the nearly 300,000 acres burned in the Thomas Fire.

    Now that it is 2018, the calendar starts over and the statistics reset, but Cal Fire warned that the fire danger in San Diego remains high.

    "Cal Fire San Diego and San Diego County Fire would like to take this opportunity to remind the public that wildland fire prevention and preparedness are a year-round effort," said Cal Fire in a statement.

    Federal agencies have approved giving a boost to wildfire recovery efforts in California due to the extensive damages wrought by the fires of 2017.