Don's Home Places California Fires Fire History
2020 North Central California Fires | 2021 North Central California Fires | Air Quality

last updated 31 Aug 2021

See also: Cal Fire's twitter account
Cal Fire's Active fire list.

Largest northern California Fires since 1932
Rank Name County Acres Cause Start date Structures
Destroyed
Deaths Notes
1 August Complex Tehema 1,032,264* Under Investigation Aug 2020 935 1
2 Dixie * Butte, Lassen, Plumas and Tehema 959,253 Under investigation July 2021 >1,200 0
3 Mendocino Complex Ranch fire Mendocino, Lake,
Colusa, Glenn
459,123 Under investigation July 2018 280 1 The Ranch Fire by itself, at 410,203 acres as of July 2018. 1 firefighter died. The fire complex burned for 5 months.
4 SCU Lightning Complex 396,624 Under Investigation Aug 2020 224 1
5 Creek Fresno, Madera 379,895 Under Investigation July 2020 853 0
6 LNU Lightning Complex Napa, Sonoma, Solano, Yolo, Lake 375,209 Under Investigation Aug 2020 1491 5
7 Northern Complex Pluas, Butte, Yuba 318,724 Aug 2020 2,352 15
8 Rush Lassen 271,911 Lightning Aug 2012 1 0 This fire burned an additional 43,666 acres in Nevada, for a total of 315,577 acres .
9 Rim Tuolumne 257,314 Human Related Aug 2013 112 0
10 Carr shasta, Trinity 229,651 Human Related July 2018 1604 8
11 Caldor El Dorado 218,489 Aug 2021 850
12 Klamath Theater Complex siskiyou 192,038 Lightning June 2008 0 2
13 Marble Cone Monterey 177,866 Lightning July 1977 359 1
14 Monument Trinity 170,945 Aug 2021
15 SQF Complex Fire (Includes Castle Fire and Shotgun Fire)
T
Tulare 168,095 Aug 2020 he Castle fire destroyed up to a tenth of the world’s
mature giant sequoia population.
16 Basin Complex Monterey 162,818 Lightning June 2008 58 0
17 Slater/Devil Fire siskiyou 156,688 Nov 2020
18 Camp Butte 153,336 Power Lines Nov 2018 18804 86
19 Rough Fresno 151,623 Lightning July 2015 4 0
20 McNally Tulare 150,696 Jul 02 17 0
21 stanislaus Complex Tuolumne 145,980 Aug 87 28 1
22 Northern California firestorm1, North Bay Fires, and Wine Country Fires Lake, Sonoma, Mendocino, Butte, and Solano 141,000 Powerline (Atlas & Nuns), Homeowner equipment (Tubbs) Oct 17 8,900 30
Fire Acres Deaths
Tubbs fire  36,432 acres 22
Nuns fire  54,382 acres 2
Atlas fire  51,624 acres 6
...
Dolan Monterey 128,416 Aug 20
* The Dixie Fire is the largest single fire in California history and the largest currently burning in the U.S. It is smaller than the 2020 August Complex, a series of lightning-caused fires across seven counties with a combined 1,032,648 acres that were fought together and that state officials consider California’s largest wildfire overall.

North Central Califronia Counties Map

Source: Top 20 Largest California Wildfires | fire.ca.gov
List of California wildfires - Wikipedia

1. The Northern California firestorm with North Bay Fires, and Wine Country fires in 2017 consisted of 3 but were not combined to qualify for the top 20 list. The 2020 LNU Lightning Complex fires (#3 in total acres) covering a similar area consisted of several fires which merged, so Cal Fire combined them.

Cal Fire Releases Cause of a Dozen More October Fires in 2017: Nearly All Tied to PG&E | KQED

Well known fires which may be part of the above.


Deadliest - Northern Cal:
Name County Acres Hectares Start date Structures Deaths Notes
Camp Butte 153,336 62,050 November 2018 18,804 86 51 identified from Paradise, 11 from Magalia, 7 from Concow, 1 from Chico, remaining not publicly identified as of February 2019
Tunnel Alameda 1,600 650 October 1991 2,900 25
Tubbs Napa, Sonoma 36,807 14,895 October 2017 5,643 22
Source: CAL FIRE


Largest Southern Cal
Name County Acres Hectares Start date Structures Deaths Notes
Thomas Ventura, Santa Barbara 281,893 114,078 December 2017 1,063 23 Fatalities (2 direct, 21 indirect) attributed to the fire include 1 firefighter and 1 civilian directly, 21 deaths in later mudslides.
Cedar San Diego 273,246 110,579 October 2003 2,820 15
Zaca Santa Barbara 240,207 97,208 July 2007 1 0
Matilija Ventura 220,000 89,030 September 1932 0 0
Witch San Diego 197,990 80,120 October 2007 1,650 2
Laguna San Diego 175,425 70,992 September 1970 382 8
Day Ventura 162,702 65,843 September 2006 11 0
Station Los Angeles 160,557 64,975 August 2009 209 2

Source: Top 20 Largest California Wildfires | fire.ca.gov


Deadliest - Southern Cal:
Name County Acres Hectares Start date Structures Deaths Notes
Griffith Park Los Angeles 47 19 October 1933 0 29 Deaths were RFC (Reconstruction Finance Corporation) workers fighting the fire
Source CAL FIRE


Smoke:
Air Quality Index (AQI) varies from day to day depending on wind direction and the state of fires.
On Novembe 16, 2018 the AQI hit 350 in Chico and 337 in Sacramento (Hazardous) See Air Quality Index (AQI)



More about specific fires:
2020 North Central California Fires
2020 LNU (Lake, Sonoma, Napa Yolo, Solano) Complex Fires
2017 Napa Sanoma Wine Country Fires

Links:
Cal Fire's Active fire list.
2020 Statewide Fire Summary | CAL FIRE
See also Cal Fire's twitter account
AirNow.gov is a partnership of the EPA, NOAA and several other agencies to provide AQI information It gives a 6 day forecast and ozone in addition to PM2.5 Air Quality 2017 Napa & Sanoma Co fires

Active Incidents | CAL FIRE
News Releases | CAL FIRE
List of California wildfires - Wikipedia
A history of California Wildfires | CapRadio
Defensible Space | www.fire.ca.gov/DSspace - 100 ft of fire-resistand landscaping.