In 2020, the U.S. had no shortage of catastrophes. Here in California, it was a record-breaking year for wildfires: 9,917 fires burned a total of 6,653 square miles by year’s end. Sadly—amid a crushing drought and bone dry conditions—this year is shaping up to be even more disastrous.
As KTLA reports, California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection stats indicate that 2021 is outpacing 2020 in terms of both the number of wildfires that have broken out and the number of square miles they’ve scorched. Between the beginning of the year and the Fourth of July, 4,599 fires burned 114.8 square miles; during that same period last year, 3,847 fires burned 48.6 square miles.
Hot & dry conditions continue to drive an increase in wildfire activity spanning across CA! Compared to this same time last year, there has been more than 750 wildfires & over 42,000 acres burned. It's now more critical than ever that all Californians are prepared for wildfires. pic.twitter.com/XXPgRHPE98
— CAL FIRE (@CAL_FIRE) July 6, 2021
Locally, recent incidents have included the Tumbleweed fire, which burned upward of 1,000 acres in the far northwest reaches of Los Angeles County near Gorman, and the Peak fire, which ignited on Highway 18 in the San Bernardino National Forest.
Cal Fire reports that its law enforcement agents have made 71 arson-related arrests so far in 2021; there was a total of 120 in 2020.
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