October 2017 Northern California wildfires

October 2017 Northern California wildfires
California fires ESA385120.jpg
Copernicus Sentinel-3A satellite picture, October 9
Statistics [1]
Total area 210,244 acres (85,083 ha)
Cost > $3 billion [2]
Date(s) October 8, 2017 (2017-10-08) – present
Buildings
destroyed
5,700
Fatalities 42
Injuries 185
Location of Northern California wildfires
2017 Northern California wildfires from October 7 to October 14

In early October 2017, a series of wildfires started burning across the state of California, United States. They broke out throughout Napa, Lake, Sonoma, Mendocino, Butte, and Solano counties during severe fire weather conditions effectively leading to a major red flag warning from much of the Northern California area. Seventeen separate wildfires were reported at this time. [3] These fires included the Tubbs Fire (which grew to become the most destructive wildfire in the history of California), [1] [4] the Atlas Fire, Nuns Fire and others.

Owing to the extreme conditions, shortly after the fires ignited on October 8 and 9, they rapidly grew to become extensive, full-scale incidents spanning from 1,000 acres (400 hectares) to well over 20,000 acres (8,100 ha) each within a single day. By October 14, the fires had burned more than 210,000 acres (85,000 ha), and destroyed an estimated 5,700 structures [5] [1] while forcing 90,000 people to evacuate from their homes. [6] The Northern California fires have killed at least 42 people [1] and hospitalized at least 185, [7] making the week of October 8, 2017, the deadliest week of wildfires in California history. [8] [9] [1] [10] [2] Collectively, this event constitutes the largest loss of life due to wildfires in the United States since the Cloquet Fire in 1918. [11]

Weather

Days prior to the wildfires, the National Weather Service had begun issuing red flag warnings throughout much of northern California as conditions were expected to become extremely volatile, with winds expected to be gusting between 25 and 35 miles per hour (40 and 56 km/h) from the north to the south. [12] By the evening of October 8, the Diablo winds were reported gusting up to 70 miles per hour (110 km/h) within the affected areas as over a dozen wildfires began to break out. [13]