2018 Historic Season for Wildfires in California
The historic California wildfires makes #3 on our Top 10 list of events of 2018.
Every single month had at least one wildfire still burning within the state.
According to the National Interagency Fire Center there were more than 8000 wildfires scorching more than 1.8 million acres across the Golden State — a bigger area than the state of Delaware!
The weather played a huge role in making this past year a memorable one.
According to NOAA, July was California’s hottest month in recorded history.
There were also numerous prolonged wind events combined with extremely dry conditions — helping spread wildfires into some areas that have not burned in decades!
“This is starting to become the norm with the way that our drought conditions and fuel has been becoming,” said Captain Brian McGrath, the PIO for the Ventura County Fire Department.
The season seemed never ending and some events made history burning through Northern California.
The Carr Fire began in July west of Redding, and remained uncontained for more than a month, becoming one of California’s largest, destructive and deadliest wildfires.
Just days after the Carr Fire began, two new fires ignited: the River Fire and the Ranch Fire, coming together as the Mendocino Complex Fire.
This wildfire became the largest within the state, burning an area more than one and a half times the City of Los Angeles across four counties and claiming the life of one firefighter.
Four months later in November, the Camp Fire also started in northern California becoming not only one of the largest wildfires in state history, but also the deadliest and most destructive.
“90% of the town is gone. So all of our places are gone,” Courtney Woodcox said, a resident of the town of Paradise.
Although the 2018 wildfire season will be remembered as one of the worst in California history, those whose homes fell victim to the flames remain optimistic for the new year.
“We’ve got to move past it,” said Eleanor Southwick, who lost everything in the Camp Fire. “And build and just celebrate the relationships and family and friends that we have.”
For WeatherNation, I’m Meteorologist Meredith Garofalo