|2018 California wildfires|
Satellite image of the wildfires burning in Northern California and in southern Oregon, on August 1, 2018; smoke is can be seen trailing northeastward over Nevada, Oregon, Washington, and Idaho
|Total area||975,738.7 acres (3,948.674 km2)|
|Cost||>$758.144 million (2018 USD)|
|Fatalities||8 civilians, 6 firefighters|
|Non-fatal injuries||At least 14|
The 2018 California wildfires are a series of wildfires that have burned across the state of California during 2018. A total of 5,403 fires had burned an area of 975,738.7 acres (3,948.674 km2), according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection and the National Interagency Fire Center, as of August 17. The active Mendocino Complex Fire has burned more than 378,000 acres (1,530 km2), becoming the largest complex fire in the state's history, with the complex's Ranch Fire surpassing the Thomas Fire to become California's single-largest modern wildfire.
On August 4, 2018, a national disaster was declared in Northern California, due to the massive wildfires burning there.
Many different factors led to the 2018 California wildfire season becoming so devastating. A combination of an increased amount of natural fuel and compounding atmospheric conditions from global warming led to a series of destructive fires.
A direct contributor to the 2018 California wildfires was an increase in dead tree fuel.By December 2017, there were a record 129 million dead trees in California.
Stanford Earth System Science Professor Noah Diffenbaugh stated that atmospheric conditions for California wildfires are expected to worsen in the future because of the effects of climate change in California and that "what we're seeing over the last few years in terms of the wildfire season in California [is] very consistent with the historical trends in terms of increasing temperatures, increasing dryness, and increasing wildfire risk". Other experts agreed, saying that global warming is to blame for these extreme weather conditions. Global warming resulted in higher temperatures and less rain, creating a drier landscape that gave fires more fuel to burn longer and stronger.
A wildland–urban interface (or WUI) refers to the zone of transition between unoccupied land and human development. Communities that are within 0.5 miles (0.80 km) of the zone may also be included. These lands and communities adjacent to and surrounded by wildlands are at risk of wildfires.Since the 1990s, over 43% of new homes have been constructed in this area. In some areas, the amount of new homes in those areas is 80%. In the past, when these areas burned, no homes were lost, but now homes are there and are being destroyed.
Northern California and the Central Valley saw drastic increases in air pollutants during the height of the July and August fires, while Southern California also experienced an increase in air pollution in August.
The following is a list of fires that burned more than 1,000 acres, or produced significant structural damage or loss of life.
|Name||County||Acres||Start date||Containment date||Status||Notes||Ref|
|Pleasant||Inyo||2,070||February 18, 2018||April 3, 2018||Contained|
|Moffat||Inyo||1,265||April 19, 2018||May 21, 2018||Contained|
|Nees||Merced||1,756||May 2, 2018||May 17, 2018||Contained|
|Patterson||Riverside||1,261||May 17, 2018||May 21, 2018||Contained|
|Panoche||San Benito||64||June 4, 2018||June 7, 2018||Contained||3 civilians killed|
|Stone||Los Angeles||1,352||June 4, 2018||June 13, 2018||Contained|
|Airline||San Benito||1,314||June 4, 2018||June 14, 2018||Contained|
|Apple||Tehama||2,956||June 9, 2018||June 14, 2018||Contained||3 residential structures and 2 outbuilding destroyed|
|Chrome||Glenn||2,290||June 9, 2018||June 21, 2018||Contained||1 outbuilding destroyed|
|Lions||Madera||10,765||June 11, 2018||70% contained|
|Planada||Merced||4,564||June 15, 2018||June 21, 2018||Contained|
|Yankee||San Luis Obispo||1,500||June 20, 2018||July 1, 2018||Contained|
|Lane||Tehama||3,716||June 23, 2018||July 4, 2018||Contained||1 injury|
|Pawnee||Lake||15,185||June 23, 2018||July 8, 2018||Contained||22 structures destroyed, 1 injury|
|Creek||Madera||1,678||June 24, 2018||July 5, 2018||Contained||4 residential structures and 7 minor structures destroyed|
|Waverly||San Joaquin||12,300||June 29, 2018||July 2, 2018||Contained|
|County||Lake, Napa, Yolo||90,288||June 30, 2018||July 14, 2018||Contained||20 structures destroyed; 1 firefighter injured|
|Klamathon||Siskiyou||38,008||July 5, 2018||July 16, 2018||Contained||82 structures destroyed; 3 injuries, 1 civilian killed|
|Valley||San Bernardino||1,350||July 6, 2018||July 24, 2018||Contained|
|Holiday||Santa Barbara||113||July 6, 2018||July 11, 2018||Contained||20 structures destroyed|
|Pendleton Complex||San Diego||1,800||July 6, 2018||July 11, 2018||Contained||Originated as 3 separate fires; burned in Camp Pendleton|
|West||San Diego||504||July 6, 2018||July 11, 2018||Contained||56 structures destroyed|
|Georges||Inyo||2,883||July 8, 2018||July 16, 2018||Contained|
|Ferguson||Mariposa||96,824||July 13, 2018||87% contained||11 injured, 2 firefighters killed; 10 structures destroyed|
|Eagle||Modoc||2,100||July 13, 2018||July 17, 2018||Contained|
|Natchez||Del Norte, Siskiyou||18,618||July 15, 2018||57% contained|
|Carr||Shasta||218,598||July 23, 2018||75% contained||1,077 residences, 22 commercial structures, 500 outbuildings destroyed - 191 residences, 26 commercial structures and 65 outbuildings damaged; 3 firefighters and 5 civilians killed|
|Cranston||Riverside||13,139||July 26, 2018||August 10, 2018||Contained|
|Mendocino Complex||Mendocino, Lake, Colusa||378,720||July 27, 2018||76% contained||The Ranch and River Fires are collectively called the Mendocino Complex Fire. 147 residential buildings destroyed, 118 others destroyed - 13 residential buildings and 23 other buildings damaged; 1 firefighter killed, 2 firefighters injured|
|Whaleback||Lassen||18,703||July 27, 2018||August 7, 2018||Contained|
|Butte||Sutter||1,200||July 31, 2018||August 3, 2018||Contained|
|Donnell||Tuolumne||31,369||August 1, 2018||36% contained|
|Tarina||Kern||2,950||August 3, 2018||August 6, 2018||Contained|
|Pendleton||San Diego||1,000||August 5, 2018||August 6, 2018||Contained||Burned in Camp Pendleton|
|Turkey||Monterey||2,225||August 6, 2018||August 6, 2018||Contained|
|Holy||Orange, Riverside||22,986||August 6, 2018||85% contained|
|Five||Kings||2,995||August 6, 2018||August 8, 2018||Contained|
|Hat||Shasta||1,900||August 9, 2018||August 16, 2018||Contained|
|Nelson||Solano||2,162||August 10, 2018||August 12, 2018||Contained|
|Hirz||Shasta||11,035||August 13, 2018||7% contained|
|Stone||Modoc||5,445||August 15, 2018||0% contained|
On June 4, the Panoche Fire broke out, in a series of three blazes that started in the San Benito County area. While the Panoche incident was the smallest of the three fires, burning only 64 acres (26 ha), the remains of three people were found in a destroyed camping trailer in the burn area. The remains were believed to belong to a mother, a toddler, and an infant.
On July 14, a Cal Fire bulldozer operator was killed while fighting the Ferguson Fire becoming the first firefighter death of the season.
On July 23, the Carr Fire broke out after a vehicle malfunctioned. While the Carr Fire burned in rural areas of Shasta County for the first few days, it crossed the Sacramento River and entered the city limits of Redding, California on the evening of July 26. By the next morning, 2 firefighters and 4 civilians would be dead.As of the afternoon of July 29, there are 7 people still unaccounted for.
On July 29, a firefighter with the National Park Service was killed after a dead tree fell and struck him, while he was fighting the Ferguson Fire. He was "treated on scene, but died before he could be taken to the hospital".
On August 4, a PG&E employee was killed in a vehicle incident while working to restore services to areas impacted by the Carr Fire.
On August 9, a CAL Fire heavy equipment mechanic was killed in a traffic incident while working at the Carr Fire.
On August 13, a firefighter was killed while fighting the Mendocino Complex Fire.
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