Deadly Wildfires of California

By | January 10, 2019

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Firefighter lights backfires during the Carr fire in Redding, CA on July 27, 2018.-One person died and at least two others injured as wind-whipped flames tore through the region. Source: (Photo credit JOSH EDELSON/AFP/Getty Images)

California wildfires have been going on for years. What is the phenomenon that seems to make California, in particular, such a target? Whatever the reason, many thousands upon thousands have lost lives and property over the years to these wildfires. Not only do these fires cost lives and property but also billions of dollars in revenue to business owners and the communities in which they live. Their livelihood is simply gone as they watch their businesses, as well as their homes, go up in smoke.

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1200px-SantiagoFireFromAV. Source: (

How far back do they go?

The year 1889 was a year of disasters with fire, flood, and earthquake shocks for California.

The Great Fire of 1889 (or the Santiago Canyon Fire) is considered the largest single wildfire in recorded history until 2018 that burned between 300,000 to 495,000 acres of land. Leading up to the fire were severe drought conditions that lasted longer than usual with less than 0.4 inches of rain over the previous 5 ½ months. During that month and specifically, 10 days beforehand, descending winds (high-density air from a higher elevation down a slope) made things much dryer than usual.