Published on January 2, 2019.

California Burning

A vicious 2018 wildfire season in the state is capped by the Camp and Woolsey fires


In 2018, wildfires ravaged California, killing over 100 people, destroying over 20,000 structures, and torching 1.8 million acres of land, or more than 2,800 square miles. At least one estimate puts the economic impact of the fires at $400 billion. It was, by many accounts, the worst wildfire season in California history.

The Woolsey Fire, pictured here overtaking a mansion in Malibu in November, was notable in that it burned through densely populated urban areas in Los Angeles County, prompting the evacuation of nearly 300,000 people. The blaze ranked as one of the largest wildfires in California in 2018, and also killed three people. It burned at the same time as the Camp Fire, California’s deadliest ever, which incinerated communities in the foothills of the Sierras. For more on the Camp Fire, see “Old & In Harm’s Way”, as well as “135 Minutes,” the “Perspectives” interview.

ANGELO VERZONI is staff writer for NFPA Journal. Top Photograph: GETTY IMAGES