LIST: California’s 10 Largest Wildfires

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Josh Edelson/AFP via Getty Images, File

The list below shows the locations of California's 10 largest wildfires.

Each fire includes the cause of the fire, date, location, acres burned, number of buildings damaged and fatalities. The data was compiled by Cal Fire and does not include fires before 1932, when less reliable records were available. 

The list includes all fires in California, regardless of whether they were under local, state or federal agencies' responsibility.

1. Mendocino Complex

Acres: 459,123(fire is still active)
Cause: Under investigation
Date: July/August 2018
Location: Colusa/Mendocino/Lake Counties
Structures: 280 
Fatalities: 1

2. Thomas

Cause: Under investigation
Date: December 2017 
Location: Ventura, Santa Barbara counties 
Acres: 281,893
Structures: 1,063
Fatalities: 2

3. Cedar

Cause: Human Related 
Date: October 2003 
Location: San Diego County 
Acres: 273,246 
Structures: 2,820 
Fatalities: 15

4. Rush

Cause: Lightning
Date: August 2012
Location: Lassen County
Acres: 271,911 California/43,666 Nevada
Structures: None
Fatalities: None

5. Rim

Cause: Human Related
Date: August 2013
Location: Tuolumne County
Acres: 257,314
Structures: 112
Fatalities: None

6. Zaca

Cause: Human Related 
Date: July 2007 
Location: Santa Barbara County 
Acres: 240,207 
Structures: 1 
Fatalities: 0

7. Carr Fire

Cause: Human Related

Date: July 2018 
Location: Shasta, Trinity Counties 
Acres: 229,651 
Structures: 1,604
Fatalities: 7

8. Matilija

Cause: Undetermined
Date: September 1932
Location: Ventura County
Acres: 220,000
Structures: 0
Fatalities: 0

9. Witch

Cause: Powerlines
Date: October 2007
Location: San Diego County
Acres: 197,990
Structures: 1,650
Fatalities: 2

10. Klamath Theater Complex

Cause: Lightning
Date: June 2008
Location:Siskiyou County
Acres: 192,038
Structures: 0
Fatalities: 2

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