Most destructive California wildfires in history

KFSN logo
Wednesday, May 8, 2024
Most destructive California wildfires in history
These are the five most destructive wildfires in California history when measured by the number of structures destroyed.

2018's Camp Fire is currently the most destructive wildfire in California history based on the number of structures destroyed.

As it burned in Butte County, the Camp Fire destroyed more than 18,000 structures, most of them homes. The fire is also the deadliest in state history.

PHOTOS: Camp Fire burns through Butte County, California

1 of 119
In this aerial photograph, an evacuee encampment is seen at a Walmart parking lot in Chico, California on November 19, 2018.
Josh Edelson for the Washington Post

The list of the 10 most destructive wildfires in California history has seen several recent updates. The North Bay fires in 2017 caused unprecedented damage, with the Tubbs Fire ranking as one of the most destructive ever. The Woolsey and Carr fires in 2018 also made the top 10.

Here are the most destructive fires in California history based on number of structures damaged, according to figures provided by CalFire on Aug. 8, 2019.

1. CAMP FIRE - (Butte County), November 2018

Structures destroyed: 18,804

Acres burned: 153,336

Deaths: 86

2. TUBBS FIRE - (Napa County, Sonoma County), October 2017

Structures destroyed: 5,636

Acres burned: 36,807

Deaths: 22

3. TUNNEL FIRE - Oakland Hills (Alameda County), October 1991

Structures destroyed: 2,900

Acres burned: 1,600

Deaths: 25

4. CEDAR FIRE (San Diego County), October 2003

Structures destroyed: 2,820

Acres burned: 273,246

Deaths: 15

5. VALLEY FIRE (Lake, Napa & Sonoma County), September 2015

Structures destroyed: 1,955

Acres burned: 76,067

Deaths: 4

6. WITCH FIRE (San Diego County), October 2007

Structures destroyed: 1,650

Acres burned: 197,990

Deaths: 2

7. WOOLSEY FIRE (Ventura County), Nov. 2018

Structures destroyed: 1,643

Acres burned: 96,949

Deaths: 3

8. CARR FIRE (Shasta County, Trinity County), July 2018

Structures destroyed: 1,614

Acres burned: 229,651

Deaths: 8

9. NUNS FIRE (Sonoma County), October 2017

Structures destroyed: 1,355

Acres burned: 54,382

Deaths: 3

10. THOMAS FIRE (Ventura County, Santa Barbara), December 2017

Structures destroyed: 1,063

Acres burned: 281,893

Deaths: 2