A Historic Wildfire Season in California
2017 was a heartbreaking year for California with the wildfires sitting at #4 on our Top Events of the Year.
The wildfire season was reported by CalFire as the most destructive in history.
It started with drought busting rain and snow across the state, but not enough to lessen fire danger.
In October, Northern California was ravaged by wildfires that burned through homes, businesses, and vineyards in California Wine Country.
“This is on a scale from one to ten, this is a 15,” said George Rose, a California resident. “It has completely surpassed everybody’s idea of what a wildfire is.”
The Tubbs Fire in Napa and Sonoma Counties burned nearly 37,000 acres and was the deadliest of October killing 22 people.
“Majority of those structures I should say are unfortunately homes,” said Daniel Berlant, Cal Fire PIO. “A lot of residential buildings are destroyed but there was some commercial and other types of buildings that have been destroyed.”
Some houses were spared, but others completely engulfed by the flames.
“It was like I just went down a huge roller coaster, my stomach dropped, we left and there was something here,” said Michella Flores, a victim of the Northern California wildfires. “And now there’s nothing so it’s devastating.”
The Nuns Fire in Sonoma County was one of the largest, scorching nearly 57,000 acres and burning to the ground 1200 structures.
There was a break in wildfire activity for a little over a month, before numerous wildfires sparked across Southern California, forcing hundreds of thousands of people to evacuate from San Diego to Santa Barbara.
“These are our worst nightmares having these Santa Ana winds along with the dry conditions and all the fuels we have out there,” said Ventura County Fire Department PIO Tom Kruschke.
The Thomas Fire, which burned through Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties, grew to the largest wildfire in California history and is part of a wildfire season that will never be forgotten.
Check out the other events that made our full 2017 Top 10 list.
For WeatherNation, I’m Meteorologist Meredith Garofalo