2020 Incident Archive

  • 494,489
    Total Emergency Responses
  • 8,648
  • 4,304,379
    Acres Burned
  • 33
    Confirmed Loss of Life
  • 11,116
    Structures Destroyed

Incident Map

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2020 Incidents
Incident Counties Started Acres Containment
Palmas Fire Riverside 2/20/2024 External Incident Link
The information presented here reflects what is known to CAL FIRE and is updated frequently. Learn more about data processing

2020 Fire Year

The 2020 California wildfire year was characterized by record-setting wildfires that burned across the state of California as measured during the modern era of wildfire management and record keeping. As of the end of the year, nearly 10,000 fires had burned over 4.2 million acres, more than 4% of the state's roughly 100 million acres of land, making 2020 the largest wildfire season recorded in California's modern history. California's August Complex fire has been described as the first "gigafire" as the area burned exceeded 1 million acres. The fire crossed seven counties and has been described as being larger than the state of Rhode Island. On August 19, 2020, California Governor Gavin Newsom reported that the state was battling 367 known fires, many sparked by intense thunderstorms on August 16–17. In early September 2020, a combination of a record-breaking heat wave, and Diablo and Santa Ana winds sparked more fires and explosively grew the active fires, with the August Complex more than doubling the Mendocino Complex's size to become California's largest recorded wildfire.

Pictured: The LNU Lightning Complex which burned across wine country in August 2020.

incidents by year