2017 Incident Archive

A summary of all 2017 incidents, including those managed by Cal Fire and other partner agencies.

1,548,429 Acres

Estimated Acres Burned

9,270 Incidents

Number of Incidents > 10 Acres

44 Fatalities

Confirmed Loss of Life

11,643 Structures

Structures Damaged or Destroyed

2017 Fire Season

In terms of property damage, 2017 was the most destructive wildfire season on record in California at the time. Throughout 2017, the fires destroyed or damaged more than 10,000 structures in the state (destroyed 9,470, damaged 810), a higher tally than the previous nine years combined. In December 2017, strong Santa Ana winds triggered a new round of wildfires, including the massive Thomas Fire in Ventura County. At the time, the Thomas Fire was California's largest modern wildfire, which has since been surpassed by the Mendocino Complex's Ranch Fire in 2018. The December 2017 fires forced over 230,000 people to evacuate, with the 6 largest fires burning over 307,900 acres and more than 1,300 structures. 2017 will be remembered as a year of extremes. It was the third-warmest year on record for the United States, and it was the second-hottest in California, bringing to the surface the question of long-term climate change and its contribution to the 2017 California fires. The hotter temperatures dry out vegetation, making them easier to burn, predisposing vulnerable regions like California to more wildfires in the coming decades as temperatures continue to rise and rainfall continues to decline.