Special Report

30 Most Destructive Wildfires in the US This Century

In 2020, 59,000 wildfires burned 10.1 million acres in the U.S., the second most recorded since 1960 and just barely lower than the total acreage burned in 2015. By mid-2021 alone, 34,000 fires have burned 2.3 million acres across the country, with months of the 2021 North American fire season left. 

By then, there was at least one historical fire. The Bootleg Fire in Oregon burned about 400,000 acres, making it one of the largest of this century.

24/7 Wall St. has created a list of the most destructive wildfires in the U.S. this century. We reviewed data on wildfires that burned 100,000 acres or more since 2000 from the National Interagency Fire Center’s Fire (NIFC) and Aviation Management Web Applications Program to compile our list.

Because of extended drought, high temperatures, and dry grasslands, the western continental states and Alaska have fallen victim to most of the severe wildfires in the nation’s history. These fires have also been some of the nation’s worst natural disasters. Here is the worst natural disaster in every state.

Click here to see the 30 most destructive wildfires in the US this century
Click here to see our detailed methodology

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