Explore the elements of one of nature’s most destructive forces.
With dozens dead and entire neighborhoods swallowed by flames, most of the lethal wildfires in California continue to rage uncontained.
In fact, if the blazesÂ are counted as one “firestorm,” the several fires that have scorched the state this week are entering record territory.Â “We’ve had big fires in the past,” CaliforniaÂ Gov. Jerry Brown said. “This is one of the biggest.”
Deaths: At least 31, including 15Â in the Tubbs Fire.Â The 31Â deaths this week makes this the deadliest week for California wildfires on record. The 15Â dead in the Tubbs Fire alone makes that the third-deadliestÂ fire in state history.
Previously, the deadliest single fire in California history was the Griffith Park Fire in 1933, which killed 29 people. In third place is the 1991 Oakland Hills Fire, in which 25 people perished.Â
This is a particularly lethal time of year for California fires: The top four deadliest wildfire weeks in state history have been in October.Â
Structures destroyed: At least 3,500. Again, if all the fires are added together, this is likely among the most destructive weeks for wildfires in state history. In October 2003, in the San Diego area firestorm, some 3,700 structures were destroyed.Â In the 1991 Oakland Hills Fire,Â 2,900 structures were destroyed.
The 1,000 structures destroyed in the Tubbs Fire alone makeÂ that blaze theÂ fifth-most-destructive in California history.
Acres burned: More thanÂ 191,000 acres, so…