California wildfires, by the numbers

Fires are raging across California, along with Oregon and Washington, driven in part by the climate crisis

Louise Boyle
New York
Wednesday 16 September 2020 23:52 BST
US wildfire size triples

There are still four months left of fire season but the incoming stats are already devastating. Fires are raging across California, Oregon and Washington, driven in part by the climate crisis. 

According to official figures for California: 

- 3.4million acres have burned so far in 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom said on Wednesday. Last year, 259,823 acres burned, Cal Fire reported. 

- 25 people are confirmed to have died since fire activity elevated on 15 August, according to the state fire department

- California currently has 25 major fire complexes burning around the state

- There have been nearly 7,900 fire incidents since the beginning of 2020

- Insured losses are almost $5 billion so far in 2020, according to Moody’s Investors Service.  That makes this year the third-highest ever in the state’s wildfire losses after 2018 and 2017

- 17,000 fire fighters are tackling the blazes on the frontlines

- More than 38,000 people have been evacuated around the state

- Some 5,792 structures have been damaged or destroyed

-  Creek Fire in Fresno County has “uniquely challenging conditions”, Mr Newsom said. The area has 163m dead trees, acting as fuel, due to historic drought

- 10 of the 20 most destructive California wildfires were in the last 5 years

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