The last five years have been very dry and fiery in California, both in terms of numbers of wildfires that erupted through the state and the total acres burned. While the winter rains certainly wet the Earth in 2016, this year is also on pace to be a dangerous fire season, according to statistics released by the state.
In 2016, nearly 7,000 fires scorched a total of 622,000 acres throughout the state, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. The year before that, 8,000 fires ripped through 880,000 acres of Earth, CalFire statistics show. The record year for acres burned in a fire was set in 2008, when more than 1. 5 million acres burned. The record year for number of fires battled was set in 1999, when more than 11,000 wildfires burned through the state.
This week, crews were fighting 14 large wildfires throughout the state, including the biggest one in Northern California’s Butte County, where the Wall Fire, which had scorched about 6,000 acres and displaced 4,000 people.
About 95 percent of all wildfires in the Golden State are caused by people, CalFire said.
Check out this interactive map created by Esri, a mapping company in Redlands, Calif. which shows how many fires are burning in California in real time. The data comes from the National Weather Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.