As if the gut-wrenching images weren’t powerful enough, the staggering numbers behind the California wildfires show this recent rash of infernos is unlike any other:
Of the 50 people killed in this month’s wildfires, 48 died in Northern California’s Camp Fire. That makes the Camp Fire the deadliest wildfire in California history.
(The previous grim record was set in 1933 when the Griffith Park Fire killed 29 people in Los Angeles.)
The ongoing Woolsey Fire in Southern California has killed two people in Malibu.
72,500 homes and other buildings
At least 72,500 structures are still threatened by the two biggest wildfires Wednesday. About 15,500 structures are at risk of being swallowed by the Camp Fire in the north, and 57,000 homes and other buildings are in jeopardy due to the Woolsey Fire in the south.
California firefighters have battled more than 500 blazes in the past 30 days, said Cal Fire, the state’s forestry and fire protection agency.
In the past week alone, more than 237,000 acres have burned, Cal Fire said Wednesday. That’s an area larger than the cities of Chicago and Boston combined.
The Camp Fire has destroyed more than 8,800 structures, making it the most destructive fire in California history. That number includes more than 7,600 homes, Cal Fire said.
More than 9,300 firefighters — including many from out of state — are battling the Camp, Woolsey and Hill wildfires.
The part of Butte County devastated by the Camp Fire hasn’t gotten a half-inch of rain on any calendar day for 210 days, Cal Fire spokesman Jonathan Pangburn said.
1,250 square miles (and counting)
That’s how much land has been torched by California wildfires so far this year, according to Cal Fire. The total is now greater than the size of Rhode Island.
And if it seems like wildfires are getting worse, they are. The 1,250 square miles burned this year is four times the average for this point in the year. And six of the 10 most destructive wildfires over the past century have happened since 2015.