California forests hit hard by wildfires in the last decade

By Jim Schmidt
Wildfire Today
September 5, 2022
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Wildfires 2012 – 2021

Wildfires 2002 – 2011

Of the 32.1 million acres of forestland in California, approximately 2.1 million acres (6.6%) burned in wildfires in the 2002-2011 time period. In the following decade (2012-2021), that figure more than tripled to 7.9 million acres (24.7%). National Forests in California were particularly hard hit.  10.1% of 12.7 million acres of forestland managed by the USDA Forest Service in California burned in 2002 – 2011 time period.  In the 2012 – 2021 decade that figure increased to 38.8%. All told, in the last twenty years almost half of the forestland in California National Forests has burned.  In contrast, only 24.2% of National Park forestland in the state has burned in the same time period. About 14 million acres of forestland in California are in private hands.  18.1 % of private forestland has burned since 2001.

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