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This is a list of notable wildfires.

Africa

Asia

China

India

Indonesia

Israel

Kazakhstan

Malaysia

Mongolia

Pakistan

South East Asia

South Korea

Syria

Vietnam

Arctic

See also: Climate change in the Arctic

According to the WTO in June 2019 arctic wildfires emitted 50 megatonnes (55 million short tons; 49 million long tons) of CO2. This was more than between 2010 and 2018 combined. Most carbon release was from Alaska and Siberia, but also included other arctic areas e.g., in Canada. In Siberia the temperature was about 10 °C (18 °F) higher in June 2019 than the average. In Anchorage, Alaska, on 4 July 2019, the temperature was 32 °C (90 °F), setting a new all-time record high temperature for the town.[10]

Europe

Croatia

France

Germany

Greece

Italy

Mediterranean

Poland

Portugal

Russia

Spain

Turkey

See also: Forest in Turkey and Climate change in Turkey

Sweden

Ukraine

United Kingdom

North America

In the largest wildfire on the list, the area of Canada that burned in 2023 wildfires was more than twice that of any prior year of record.[26]

Canada and the United States

See also: List of Arizona wildfires, List of fires in Canada, 2023 Canadian wildfires, List of California wildfires, and List of Washington wildfires

From 2007 to 2017, wildfires burned an average of 6.2 and 6.6 million acres (2.5 and 2.7 million ha) per year in the U.S. and Canada, respectively.[27]

Check out the US fire map at https://www.fireweatheravalanche.org/fire/ for more information.

† Indicates a currently burning fire

Year Size Name Area Notes
1825 3,000,000 acres (1,200,000 ha) 1825 Miramichi fire New Brunswick Killed between 160 and 300 people.
1845 1,500,000 acres (610,000 ha) The Great Fire Oregon [28]
1865 1,000,000 acres (400,000 ha) The Silverton Fire Oregon [29]
1853 450,000 acres (180,000 ha) The Yaquina Fire Oregon [28]
1868 300,000 acres (120,000 ha) The Coos Fire Oregon [28]
1870 964,000 acres (390,000 ha) Saguenay Fire Quebec [30][31][32]
1871 1,200,000 acres (490,000 ha) Peshtigo Fire Wisconsin Killed between 1,200 and 2,500 people and has the distinction of being the conflagration that caused the most deaths by fire in United States history. It was overshadowed by the Great Chicago Fire that occurred on the same day.
1871 2,500,000 acres (1,000,000 ha) Great Michigan Fire Michigan Overshadowed by the Great Chicago Fire that occurred on the same day.
1876 500,000 acres (200,000 ha) Bighorn Fire Wyoming
1881 1,000,000 acres (400,000 ha) Thumb Fire Michigan Killed 282 people.
1889 300,000 acres (120,000 ha) Santiago Canyon Fire California
1894 160,000 acres (65,000 ha) Great Hinckley Fire Minnesota Killed 418+ people and destroyed 12 towns.
1898 2,500,000 acres (1,000,000 ha) South Carolina [28]
1902 238,900 acres (96,700 ha) Yacolt Burn Washington and Oregon 65+ deaths, plus 20 other fire events from 1910 - 1952.
1903 464,000 acres (188,000 ha) Adirondack Fire New York
1908 64,000 acres

(25,900 ha)

1908 Fernie Fire British Columbia Town of Fernie, BC destroyed. 22 casualties reported. Cause: logging slash.[33]
1910 3,000,000 acres (1,200,000 ha) Great Fire of 1910 Idaho and
Montana
87 people (including 78 firefighters) killed and several towns destroyed across north Idaho and western Montana. ~2,000 separate blazes burned an area the size of Connecticut in what is believed to have been the largest fire in recorded U.S. history up to that point, although it has since been exceeded by the 2011 Texas wildfires and the 2020 California wildfires.[34]
1911 500,000 acres (200,000 ha) Great Porcupine Fire Ontario Killed between 73 and 200 people.
1916 500,000 acres (200,000 ha) Great Matheson Fire Ontario Killed 223 people according to official figures, and destroyed several towns, Cochrane burnt again after just five years.
1918 100,000 acres (40,000 ha) Cloquet Fire Minnesota and
Wisconsin
Killed 453 people.
1919 5,000,000 acres

(2,023,000 ha)

Great Fire of 1919 Alberta and Saskatchewan Spanning from Lac La Biche, AB to almost Prince Albert, SK. Village of Lac La Biche destroyed. 300+ people homeless. An estimated $200,000 in property damage.

Cause: drought, high winds, lightning. Forest Fire area burned is an estimation.[35][36]

1922 415,000 acres (168,000 ha) Great Fire of 1922 Ontario Killed 43 people and burnt through 18 townships in the Timiskaming District.
1923 Giant Berkeley Fire California Leveled 50 city blocks, destroying 624 buildings.[28]
1933 47 acres (19 ha) 1933 Griffith Park Fire California Killed 29 firefighters and injured more than 150 people.[28]
1933 350,000 acres (140,000 ha) Tillamook Burn Oregon
1937 1,700 acres (690 ha) Blackwater Creek Fire Wyoming Killed 15 firefighters.[28]
1947 175,000 acres (71,000 ha) Great Fires of 1947 Maine A series of fires that lasted ten days; 16 people killed. Destroyed part of Bar Harbor and damaged Acadia National Park.
1949 4,500 acres (1,800 ha) Mann Gulch fire Montana 12 firefighters who parachuted near the fire and 1 forest ranger died after being overtaken by a 200-foot wall of fire at the top of a gulch near Helena, Montana.
1950 3,500,000 acres (1,400,000 ha) Chinchaga Fire British Columbia and Alberta Largest single North American fire on record. The B.C. portion was just 90,000 ha.[37]
1953 1,300 acres (530 ha) Rattlesnake Fire California Killed 15 firefighters. Well known textbook case used to train firefighters.
1958 558,260 acres (225,920 ha) Kech Fire British Columbia Largest wildfire in BC history[37][38] until the 2017 Plateau Fire of 521,012 hectares.[39]
1961 16,090 acres (6,510 ha) Bel Air Fire California 484 homes destroyed and ~112 injuries.
1963 183,000 acres (74,000 ha) Black Saturday Fire New Jersey 400 buildings destroyed and 7 people killed.[40]
1970 175,425 acres (70,992 ha) Laguna Fire California 382 homes destroyed and 8 people killed.
1977 10,000 acres (4,000 ha) Marble Cone Fire California Vandenberg Air Force Base, 4 people killed, including the base commander, and two fire chiefs.[41][42]
1983 45,000 acres (18,000 ha) Swiss Fire British Columbia Houston, British Columbia, destroyed 7 residences.
1985 93,000 acres (38,000 ha) Allen Fire North Carolina Nearly 93,000 acres of forest, wetlands and farmland burned in northeastern North Carolina in one of the biggest fires in modern state history.[43]
1987 650,000 acres (260,000 ha) Siege of 1987 California and Oregon Cause: large lightning storm in late August. The storm started roughly 1,600 new fires, most caused by dry lightning.[44]
1988 793,880 acres (321,270 ha) Yellowstone fires of 1988 Wyoming and
Montana
Never controlled by firefighters; only burned out when a snowstorm hit.
1989 8,105,000 acres

(3,280,000 ha)

The Manitoba Fires Manitoba 1,147 wildfires in central and northern Manitoba in the spring & summer. 24,500 people evacuated from 32 communities. Over 100 homes destroyed. Worst fire season in province's history. Cause: severe drought, human and natural ignition sources.[45]
1990 5,000 acres (2,000 ha) Painted Cave Fire California 1 death and 430 buildings burned in this arson fire near Santa Barbara.
1991 1,520 acres (620 ha) Oakland Hills firestorm California Killed 25 and destroyed 3,469 homes and apartments within the cities of Oakland and Berkeley.
1993 14,337 acres (5,802 ha) Laguna Beach Fire California Destroyed 441 homes, burned 14,337 acres causing $528,000,000 in damage.[46]
1994 2,115 acres (856 ha) South Canyon Fire Colorado Killed 14 firefighters.
1995 12,354 acres (4,999 ha) Mount Vision Fire California 45 homes destroyed.
1996 37,336 acres (15,109 ha) Miller's Reach Fire Alaska Most destructive wildfire in Alaska history. 344 structures destroyed.
1998 506,000 acres (205,000 ha) 1998 Florida wildfires Florida 4,899 fires, burned 342 homes, and $390 million worth of timber was lost.[47]
1998 14,800 acres

(6,000 ha)

Silver Creek Fire British Columbia Immediately southwest of Salmon Arm, BC. Cause: lightning. Approximately 7,000 people evacuated. Over 40 buildings destroyed. Cost over $10,000,000 to extinguish.[36]
1999 140,948 acres (57,040 ha) Big Bar Complex Fire California Started August.
2000 48,000 acres (19,000 ha) Cerro Grande Fire New Mexico Burned about 420 dwellings in Los Alamos, New Mexico, damaged >100 buildings at Los Alamos National Laboratory; $1 billion damage.
2001 9,300 acres (3,800 ha) Thirtymile Fire Washington Killed 4 firefighters.
2002 92,000 acres (37,000 ha) Ponil Complex Fire New Mexico Also called the Philmont fire.
2002 31,016 acres (12,552 ha) Mt. Zirkel Complex Fire Colorado Started August.
2002 467,066 acres (189,015 ha) Rodeo–Chediski Fire Arizona Threatened, but did not burn the town of Show Low, Arizona.
2002 137,760 acres (55,750 ha) Hayman Fire in Pike National Forest Colorado 5 firefighter deaths, 600 structures fires.
2002 499,750 acres (202,240 ha) Florence/Sour Biscuit Complex Fire Oregon $150 million to suppress.
2003 84,750 acres (34,300 ha) Aspen Fire Arizona Destroyed large portions of Summerhaven, Arizona.
2003 61,776 acres (25,000 ha) Okanagan Mountain Park Fire British Columbia Displaced 45,000 inhabitants, destroyed 239 homes and threatened urbanized sections of Kelowna.
2003 90,769 acres (36,733 ha) B&B Complex fires Oregon Burned along the crest of the Cascade Mountains between Mount Washington and Mount Jefferson including 40,419 acres (163.57 km2) within the Mount Jefferson Wilderness.
2003 91,281 acres (36,940 ha) Old Fire California 993 homes destroyed, 6 deaths. Simultaneous with the Cedar fire.
2003 273,246 acres (110,579 ha) Cedar Fire California Third largest recorded fire in modern California history; burned 2,232 homes and killed 15 in San Diego County.
2004 1,305,592 acres (528,354 ha) Taylor Complex Fire Alaska Largest wildfire by acreage of 1997–2007 time period.
2006 40,200 acres (16,300 ha) Esperanza Fire California Arson-caused wildfire that killed 5 firefighters and destroyed 34 homes and 20 outbuildings.
2006 160,000 acres (65,000 ha) Day Fire California 1 residence burned, no casualties.
2007 564,450 acres (228,420 ha) Sweat Farm Road/Big Turnaround Complex Fire Georgia Largest recorded fire in Georgia history. 26 structures were lost.
2007 124,584 acres (50,417 ha) Florida Bugaboo Fire Florida Largest fire on record in Florida.
2007 18,000 acres (7,300 ha) Warren Grove Fire New Jersey Forest fire in the New Jersey Pine Barrens caused by a flare from an F-16 jet. Destroyed 4 homes, damaged 53 homes, injured 2.[48]
2007 363,052 acres (146,922 ha) Milford Flat Fire Utah Largest fire on record in Utah.
2007 653,100 acres (264,300 ha) Murphy Complex Fire Idaho and Nevada
2007 240,207 acres (97,208 ha) Zaca Fire California Started July. Second largest California fire at the time after the Cedar fire of 2003.
2007 972,000 acres (393,000 ha) October 2007 California wildfires California A series of wildfires that killed 9 people and injured 85 (including 61 firefighters). Burned at least 1,500 homes from the Santa Barbara County to the U.S.–Mexico border.
2008 41,534 acres (16,808 ha) Evans Road Wildfire North Carolina Peat fire started on 1 June by lightning strike during North Carolina's drought – the worst on record.
2008 1,557,293 acres (630,214 ha) 2008 California wildfires California In northern California, the fires were mostly started by lightning. In Santa Barbara (southern California), the Gap fire endangered homes and lives. The Basin Complex and Gap fire were the highest priority fires in the state at this time.
2009 19,130 acres (7,740 ha) Highway 31 Fire South Carolina Brush fire in Myrtle Beach, the most destructive fire in terms of loss in state history. Destroyed 76 homes and damaged 97.[49]
2009 164,500 acres (66,600 ha) Brittany Triangle Fire British Columbia Also known as the Lava Canyon fire, this was the largest fire in BC in 2009. Started on 31 July by lightning, this fire made news when it threatened a wild horse population.[50]
2010 98,842 acres (40,000 ha) Binta Lake Fire British Columbia BC's largest blaze of 2010, resulted in evacuation orders and alerts. Burned 70,000 acres in a 12-hour period.[37]
2011 538,049 acres (217,741 ha) Wallow Fire Arizona and New Mexico The largest fire in Arizona state history. In one 24-hour burn period (6/6-6/7), it consumed 77,769 acres of forest land.
2011 34,000 acres (14,000 ha) Bastrop County Complex Fire Texas The worst fire in Texas state history, destroyed over 1,500 homes.
2011 1,748,636 acres (707,648 ha) Richardson Backcountry Fire Alberta The largest Canadian fire since 1950.
2011 156,293 acres (63,250 ha) Las Conchas Fire New Mexico Third largest fire in New Mexico state history. 63 homes lost. Threatened Los Alamos National Laboratory.
2011 12,000 acres (4,900 ha) Slave Lake Wildfire Alberta Burned through Slave Lake, Alberta, Canada and its surrounding area from 14 May through 16 May. The fire destroyed roughly one-third of Slave Lake and cost $1.8 billion.
2011 4,011,709 acres (1,623,481 ha) 2011 Texas wildfires Texas Wildfires began in November 2010 and continued to rage due to a severe drought that lasted 271 months. 47.3% of all acreage burned in the United States in 2011 was burned in Texas. Firefighters came from over 43 states to assist, with 2 losing their lives. The Governor of Texas declared a State of Disaster on 21 December 2010, and renewed the proclamation monthly. On 16 April 2011, President Obama was asked to declare a state of emergency in 252 of the 254 counties after approximately 2,000,000 acres had burnt. On 1 July 2011, the request was partially granted.
2012 289,478 acres (117,148 ha) Whitewater–Baldy complex Fire New Mexico Second-largest wildfire in New Mexico state history. Began in the Gila Wilderness as two separate fires that converged, both started by lightning. Destroyed 12 homes in Willow Creek, NM.
2012 44,330 acres (17,940 ha) Little Bear Fire New Mexico Most destructive wildfire in New Mexico state history. Began in the Lincoln National Forest and was started by lightning.
2012 87,284 acres (35,323 ha) High Park Fire Colorado Started by lightning, it is the second largest wildfire in Colorado state history by size.
2012 18,247 acres (7,384 ha) Waldo Canyon Fire Colorado Rampart Range and West Colorado Springs with 346 homes destroyed primarily in the Mountain Shadows neighborhood, it is the second most destructive fire in state history. Two fatalities reported.
2012 248,000 acres (100,000 ha) Ash Creek Fire Montana [51]
2012 719,694 acres (291,250 ha) Long Draw Fire and Miller Homestead Fire Oregon Oregon's largest fire in 150 years.
2012 332,000 acres (134,000 ha) Mustang Complex Wildfire Idaho [52]
2012 315,557 acres (127,701 ha) Rush Fire California and Nevada
2013 14,198 acres (5,746 ha) Black Forest Fire Colorado North of Colorado Springs, the Black Forest fire was a large, fast-spreading fire due to dry conditions, high heat, and restless winds. Destroyed 509 homes and left 17 homes partially damaged. As of 13 June, it became the most destructive fire in Colorado state history.[53]
2013 1,300 acres (530 ha) Yarnell Hill Fire Arizona 19 firefighters killed on 30 June.[54]
2013 617,763 acres (250,000 ha) Quebec Fire Quebec Over 300 evacuated.[55]
2013 253,332 acres (102,520 ha) Rim Fire California Occurred in Yosemite National Park. Biggest wildfire on record in the Sierra Nevada, and fourth largest wildfire in California history. Started 17 August and was contained on 24 October.[56]
2013 113,600 acres (46,000 ha) Beaver Creek Fire Colorado Started June.
2014 252,000 acres (102,000 ha) Carlton Complex Fire Washington 4 wildfires merged to become the largest single wildfire in Washington state history. (Of the 3,000,000 acres Great Fire of 1910, only 150,000 acres were in Washington.)[57][58]
2014 8,400,000 acres (3,400,000 ha) 2014 Northwest Territories fires Northwest Territories Said to have been the largest set of wildfires in 30 years in the Northwest Territories. Total cost of firefighting was between C$55 and C$56 million compared to the normal budget C$7.5 million. There were no reported deaths.[59][60]
2015 302,224 acres (122,306 ha) Okanogan Complex Washington The largest wildfire complex in Washington state history.[61]
2016 367,620 acres (148,770 ha) Anderson Creek Fire Kansas and Oklahoma Largest wildfire in Kansas history.[62][63]
2016 1,466,990 acres (593,670 ha) Fort McMurray Wildfire Alberta and Saskatchewan Largest fire evacuation in Alberta history (88,000 on 3 May, a further 8,000 on 16 May). Over 2,400 homes and buildings destroyed. Costliest disaster in Canadian history.[64][65]
2016 19,800 acres (8,000 ha) 2016 Great Smoky Mountains wildfires Tennessee Began in late November 2016. It significantly impacted the towns of Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg, both near Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The fires claimed at least 14 lives,[66][67] injured 190,[68] and is one of the largest natural disasters in the history of Tennessee.[69][70][71][72][73]
2017 3,004,932 acres (1,216,053 ha) 2017 British Columbia wildfires British Columbia The 2017 BC fire season is notable for three reasons: first, for the largest total area burnt in a fire season in recorded history; second, for the largest number of total evacuees in a fire season (Estimated 65,000 evacuees); and third, for the largest single fire ever in British Columbia.[74][75]
2017 1,295,000 acres (524,000 ha) 2017 Montana wildfires Montana Contained by rain and snow by mid-September.
2017 240,000 acres (97,000 ha) October 2017 Northern California wildfires California The October northern California wildfires were a large group of forest fires that killed 44 people and destroyed 8,900 structures.[76]
2017 281,893 acres (114,078 ha) Thomas Fire California Largest wildfire in modern California history at the time (1889 Santiago Canyon fire may have been larger). Spread fast due to strong winds and unusual dry weather in December.[77]
2017 28,516 acres (11,540 ha) Goodwin Fire Arizona Shut down parts of Highway 69 between Mayer and Dewey-Humboldt. The fire destroyed 5 homes and damaged 2 more.[78]
2018 3,346,508 acres (1,354,284 ha) 2018 British Columbia wildfires British Columbia Initial estimates put 2018 as the largest total burn-area in any British Columbia wildfire season, surpassing the historic 2017 wildfire season.[74][79]
2018 108,043 acres (43,723 ha) Spring Creek Fire Colorado Started June.
2018 459,102 acres (185,792 ha) Mendocino Complex Fire California 229 structures destroyed, 2 reported deaths.
2018 229,651 acres (92,936 ha) Carr Fire California 1,604 structures destroyed, 8 reported deaths.
2018 96,949 acres (39,234 ha) Woolsey Fire California 1,643 structures destroyed, 3 fatalities, 5 injuries.
2018 149,000 acres (60,000 ha) Camp Fire California 18,804 structures destroyed, 85 confirmed deaths, 2 missing, 17 injured, deadliest and most destructive wildfire in California to date.[80][81]
2020 600,000 acres (240,000 ha) 2020 Colorado wildfires Colorado Low-end estimate of burned acreage based on Inciweb since May in Colorado. The state's worst fire season on record. The season of the Hayman Fire saw 360,000 acres burn - which was the previous record holder.
2020 119,987 acres (48,557 ha) Bighorn Fire Arizona Started June south of Phoenix.
2020 193,455 acres (78,288 ha) Bush Fire Arizona Started June near Theodore Roosevelt Lake just north of Phoenix.
2020 75,817 acres (30,682 ha) Evans Canyon Fire Washington Started in September near Yakima, WA.
2020 17,988 acres (7,279 ha) Palmer Fire Washington Started September in northern Washington near Canada.
2020 176,878 acres (71,580 ha) Mullen Fire Colorado and Wyoming Started in September near Laramie and spread to Jackson County, Colorado by October. The fire forced evacuations in Wyoming and northern Colorado.
2020 938,044 acres (379,613 ha) August Complex Fire California Largest wildfire in California history. This fire was divided into three zones: the August Complex North Zone (Elkhorn Fire), the August Complex South Zone (Doe Fire), and the August Complex West Zone due to the enormous size.
2020 1,000,000 acres (400,000 ha) 2020 Oregon wildfires Oregon Destroyed over 3,000 buildings, and killed at least 10 people.[82]
2020 4,420,301 acres (1,788,832 ha) 2020 California wildfires California Largest California wildfire season in recorded history.
2022 341,471 acres (138,188 ha) Calf Canyon/Hermits Peak Fire New Mexico Largest and most destructive wildfire in the recorded history of New Mexico.
2023 19,770,000 acres (8,000,000 ha) 2023 Canadian wildfires Canada (11 provinces) Largest Canadian wildfire season in recorded history.
2023 14,000+ acres (5,556+ ha) 2023 Hawaii wildfires Hawaii Deadliest wildfire in recorded Hawaii history, referred to as worst natural disaster in history of Hawaii by Governor Josh Green. [83]
2023 11,020 acres (4,460 ha) Matt's Creek Fire Virginia

Greenland

Some wildfires occurred in Greenland in August 2017.[84][further explanation needed]

There was a large wildfire between Sisimiut and Kangerlussuaq from July to August 2019.[85] It was put out by members of Beredskabsstyrelsen, who were flown in.

Mexico

Oceania

Australia

Main article: List of major bushfires in Australia

New Zealand

South America

Argentina

Bolivia

Brazil

Chile

Ecuador

Venezuela

See also

References

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