Monday, October 22, 2007

Top 10 Worst Wildfires in World History

A wildfire, also known as a wildland fire, forest fire, vegetation fire, grass fire, peat fire, bushfire, or hill fire, is an uncontrolled fire often occurring in wildland areas, but which can also consume houses or agricultural resources. These are some of the worst wildfires in recorded history:

1. The Milford Flat Fire which burned in 2007 in Utah is statistically the largest fire burning in Utah's history. At the time,Governor Jon Huntsman, Jr. stated that it is the biggest fire burning in the world. This fire burned 363,052 acres.
2. The 2003 Okanagan Mountain Park Fire was started by a lightning strike near Rattlesnake Island in Okanagan Mountain Park in British Columbia, Canada, during one of the driest summers in the past decade. The final size of the firestorm was over 250 square kilometres (61,776 acres). 60 fire departments, 1,400 armed forces troops and 1,000 forest fire fighters took part in controlling the fire, but were largely helpless in stopping the disaster.
3. The Yellowstone National Park Fire of 1988 burned well over 793,880 acres (321,271 ha) before the winter snows put out the flames. (See: Yellowstone fires of 1988)
4. One of the largest known wild fires, was the Great Fire of 1910, that burned in Montana and Idaho.
5. Siege of 1987 Refers to a complex of fires in northern California and southern Oregon that burned a total of about 650,000 acres. These fires were started by a large lightning storm in late August. The storm started roughly 1600 new fires, most caused by dry lightning. Firefighting efforts continued into October, before the majority of the fires were controlled.
6. McNally Fire Sequoia NF burned roughly 151,000 acres in 2002, and is the largest wildfire recorded in the forest's history.
7. The 2003 Canberra bushfires infinged on the Australian capital itself. A firestorm raced through Canberra suburbs on January 18, 2003 and damaged or destroyed 431 homes.
8. The 2007 Greek fires were some of the deadliest in world history, killing at least 64 people in Peloponnese and Evia.
9. The Zaca Fire in California in 2007 - The blaze was started July 4 by sparks from water pipe repair equipment. The fire had a containment cost of $117 million. It was contained on September 2. The Zaca Fire burned Los Padres NF, CA. It burned 240,207 acres. It is the 2nd largest recorded fire in California.
10. The Malibu California Fires - From the high desert to the Pacific Ocean, out-of-control wildfires engulfed swaths of drought-parched Southern California, claiming one life, destroying several homes and a church in Malibu, and forcing an entire community to evacuate. Thousands more homes remained at risk as hot, dry Santa Ana desert winds continued to churn into the region. The fire burned more than 40,000 acres. Hundreds of patients were being evacuated from a hospital and nursing homes in San Diego County


Jawbone said...

As a wildland firefighter, I recommend you change the title of your entry. Most of your fires are in the last ten years, are exclusively U.S. fires, you aren't saying what you mean by 'worst', and perhaps worst of all, you don't include the Peshtigo.

Perhaps a better title would be "Ten Remarkable U.S. Wildfires"

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