Exacerbated by drought and climate change, the summer of 2020 was the worst fire season in history in a state already known for having the largest and most destructive wildfires.
In the summer of 2020 nearly 10,000 fires burned over 4.2 million acres of land throughout California - more than double the previous record. For more than five months, thousands of fire fighters were working simultaneously to fight fires throughout the state, while more than 50,000 people were evacuated or displaced by the fires.
The destructive fires left 33 people dead, and more than 10,000 buildings destroyed.
CalFire firefighter Arik Nelson fights the Glass Fire near the town of Angwin on October 2 2020 The Glass Fire has burned more than 60 000 acres since it began 6 days ago
A hillside in Lake County California is engulfed by flames during the LNU Complex Fires on August 23 2020 Drought conditions low humidity and a record setting lightning storm started the LNU Complex Fire on August 17 2020
The remains of an old car that was burned in the Santa Cruz Mountains of California during the CZU lightning complex fire The series of fires burned for more than 40 days and consumed more than 85 000 acres throughout Santa Cruz County leaving more than 1 400 structures destroyed
A firefighter walks through the Skyhawk neighborhood as it burns in Santa Rosa California in the early morning hours of September 28th 2020 Winds gusting up to 30 miles per hour spread the fire which destroyed dozens of homes in Santa Rosa
A home along Highway 12 in Santa Rosa California is consumed by flames on the night of September 27th the first day of the Glass Fire
A CalFire firefighter calls in the results of his damage assessment and search for missing persons at a burned residence outside of Oroville California following the Bear Fire on October 1 2020 Firefighters and Sheriff s have been looking for 16 missing persons after extreme fire behavior forced thousands to evacuate in the middle of the night
A helicopter prepares to drop water on the Bobcat Fire outside of Los Angeles California on September 21 2020 The Bobcat fire is over 100 000 acres and is one of the largest fires in Los Angeles County history
A firefighter from the National Forest Service works to repair his chainsaw as flames quickly approach while fighting the Bobcat fire in Los Angeles California on September 21 2020
An inmate fire fighter walks by a firing operation off of Old Trolly road outside of Calistoga California on October 1 2020 California employs thousands of inmate firefighters at a pay 2 per day plus 1 per hour when fighting fires to help battle the wildfire crisis throughout the state
Brad Driscoll from the Huntington Lake Volunteer Fire Department works to contain a structure fire near Huntington Lake on the fourth day of the Creek Fire on September 8 2020 With resources stretched thin around the state battling the fires volunteer firefighters are necessary to help fight the fires and protect their communities