Each Fire Burning More Land Than Usual This Year, Nationwide

Oct 20, 2020

The number of acres burned (in millions, left) and number of fires (right) in the U.S. for the last decade. The blue lines show the average for the last ten years. 2020 has more acres burned than average, but fewer fires.

Fires are raging across the West. So far this year, 46,416 fires have burned over 8 million acres across the U.S. That's actually less fires than usual for this far into the year, but more land burned.

In California, nearly 4 percent of the state's land has burned. That makes it the worst fire season in recorded history in the state. A similar story holds true for Oregon.

Colorado's Cameron Peak fire is now the largest in that state's history. Wyoming has not escaped the burning either with the ongoing Mullen fire west of Laramie. On average, the wildfires burning in the U.S. this year are larger than in the past ten years.

Updated numbers for fires and acres burned can be found through the National Interagency Fire Center.

Have a question about this story? Please contact the reporter, Ashley Piccone, at apiccone@uwyo.edu.