With 42 confirmed dead, Camp Fire is deadliest in California history
On Monday, the five-day-old Camp Fire raging through Butte County officially became California’s deadliest wildfire in history with a toll of 42 dead expected to rise.
Here are the Top 5 deadliest wildfires in state history, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.
1. Camp Fire (2018)
In Butte County in Northern California, the Camp Fire, which erupted Thursday, has killed 42 people, burned 117,000 acres and destroyed 6,453 homes as of Tuesday morning, reported Cal Fire.
The blaze, whose cause remains under investigation, swept through the foothill town of Paradise, laying waste to the community of 27,000, reported The Sacramento Bee.
Some of the dead were found in vehicles overcome by flames as they tried to flee, while others were found in burned homes. Hundreds more remain missing.
2. Griffith Park Fire (1933)
A blaze in L.A.’s Griffith Park area in October 1933 killed 29 people, reported Cal Fire.
Most of those slain the fire were among thousands of workers laboring to build roads and trails in the neighborhood, some of whom fought the 47-acre fire armed only with shovels. No cause was ever determined, reported The Sacramento Bee.
3. Oakland Hills Fire (1991)
An inferno in the hills above Oakland in the Bay Area in October 1991 killed 25, burned 1,600 acres and destroyed 2,900 homes, according to Cal Fire.
The blaze caused $1.5 billion in damage, reported History.com. In some places, temperatures during the firestorm reached 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit, while the extremely steep terrain also thwarted firefighting efforts, reported the site. A grass fire that wasn’t completely extinguished sparked the blaze.
4. Tubbs Fire (2017)
A fire that swept through Napa and Sonoma counties, destroying entire neighborhoods in Santa Rosa, in October 2017 killed 22 people, burned 36,000 acres and destroyed 5,600 homes, reported Cal Fire.
The fire caused $2.8 billion in damage, tying the Oakland Hills fire when adjusted for inflation, reported The Sacramento Bee. No cause has been officially determined.
5. Cedar Fire (2003)
In October 2003, a massive fire north of San Diego killed 15, blackened 273,000 acres and burned 2,820 homes, reported Cal Fire.
The blaze, sparked in the Cleveland National Forest, left a 28-mile-long path of destruction in just 14 hours before combining with another fire nearby, reported The San Diego Union-Tribune.
Santa Ana winds drove the resulting conflagration relentlessly into canyons and valleys in central San Diego County, according to the publication. A hunter accidentally ignited the blaze by lighting two small signal fires.
The Rattlesnake Fire in the Mendocino National Forest in July 1953 also killed 15 people and burned 1,340 acres, according to Cal Fire.
All of those killed were firefighters battling the arson-caused brush fire, according to the U.S. Forest Service.