Story at a glance

  • The state has tallied 4,599 fires that have burned through 114.8 square miles of land between Jan. 1 and July 4 of 2021.
  • Over the same period of time in 2020, the drought-ridden state experienced 3,847 fires that tore through 48.6 square miles of dry vegetation.
  • The 2020 wildfire season was the largest recorded in California’s modern history.

California appears to be on pace to have another disastrous wildfire season after breaking records in 2020. 

The Associated Press reports the state has tallied 4,599 fires that have burned through 114.8 square miles of land between Jan. 1 and July 4 of 2021. At least 91 structures so far have been damaged or destroyed by wildfires. 

Over the same period of time in 2020, the drought-ridden state experienced 3,847 fires that tore through 48.6 square miles of dry vegetation.

Last year saw a total of 9,917 wildfires that burned a record 6,653 square miles, damaged 10,488 structures and left 33 people dead. The 2020 wildfire season was the largest recorded in California’s modern history. 

The August Complex fire alone burned more than 1 million acres and crossed seven counties. 

Much of California is experiencing extreme to exceptional drought, the most severe designation of drought on the U.S. Drought Monitor’s forecast. 


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“The fire season in California and across the West is starting earlier and ending later each year. Climate change is considered a key driver of this trend,” the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection says on its website

The state is expected to experience excessive heat through the remainder of the week, with highs soaring into the triple digits. This comes after the state is still recovering from a major heat wave that slammed the Pacific Northwest in recent weeks. 


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Published on Jul 08, 2021