2014 California wildfires

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2014 California wildfires
May 2014 California Wildfires close-up.jpg
Satellite image of the wildfires in Southern California and Baja California, on May 15, 2014.
Statistics[1][2][3][4][5]
Total fires7,865
Total area625,540 acres (2,531 km2)[6]
CostAt least $204.05 million (2014 USD)
Fatalities2 confirmed
Non-fatal injuriesAt least 146
Season
← 2013
2015 →

2014 saw several notable wildfires igniting in California, especially during the month of May, when multiple fires were ablaze concurrently in Southern California, and during September, when several massive wildfires were burning in Northern California. In the context of the 2012–13 North American drought (especially the 2011–17 California drought), as well as powerful Santa Ana winds, weather conditions were ideal for wildfires. A total of 7,865 wildfires ignited throughout the year, which burned at least 625,540 acres (2,531.5 km2) of land.[4][6] The wildfires caused a total of 146 injuries and 2 fatalities, in addition to causing at least $204.05 million (2014 USD) in damage.

The season began unusually early when a wildfire ignited on January 1, followed by 6 more fires igniting later within the same month. During a heat wave and dry Santa Ana conditions in May 2014, multiple wildfires broke out simultaneously in San Diego County, along with several other wildfires elsewhere in California. By mid-May, fire officials said they had already dealt with 1,400 wildfires in California in 2014 - twice the normal amount for that time of year - and a spokesman for CAL FIRE described the conditions as "unprecedented."[7] The May 2014 San Diego County wildfires were estimated to have caused at least $60 million (2014 USD) in damage.[3] In late June to early August, another group of wildfires ignited across the state, some of which reached over twenty thousand acres in size. In mid-September, the largest group of wildfires erupted, with some wildfires becoming larger than 50,000 acres in size. In early September 2014, the Happy Complex Fire became the largest wildfire of the season, eventually topping out at 135,369 acres (54,782 ha) in size on September 27. On October 8, an aerial tanker crashed during a firefighting effort at the Dog Rock Fire, which killed the pilot and sparked a small wildfire.[2] From late September to late October, the latest flare-up of major wildfires were extinguished by cooler weather and precipitation.

From December 10–13, a powerful winter storm extinguished the remaining wildfires that were present. In mid-December through late December, several more small wildfires sparked, but they were all extinguished by December 31.

In 2014, a study found a human fingerprint in growing California wildfire risks.[8] The paper is titled “Extreme fire season in California: A glimpse into the future?” It was published as the second chapter of “Explaining Extreme Events of 2014”, by the American Meteorological Society.[9] The authors also projected into the future, and the predicted results showed increases in the drought index, the area under extreme threat of fires, and the days of fire danger, stating that, "The increase in extreme fire risk is expected within the coming decade to exceed that of natural variability and this serves as an indication that anthropogenic climate warming will likely play a significant role in influence California’s fire season."[9]

Fires[edit]

Below is a list of all fires that exceeded 1,000 acres (400 ha) during the 2014 California wildfire season, as well as the fires that caused significant damage.[10] The list is taken from CAL FIRE's list of large fires.

Name County Acres Km2 Start Date Containment Date Notes Ref
Soda Tulare 1,612 6.5 January 14, 2014 February 15, 2014 [10]
Colby Los Angeles 1,952 7.9 January 16, 2014 January 21, 2014 15 structures destroyed [11]
Etiwanda San Bernardino 2,200 8.9 April 30, 2014 May 9, 2014 [12]
Bernardo San Diego 1,548 6.3 May 13, 2014 May 17, 2014 [13]
Tomahawk San Diego 5,367 21.7 May 14, 2014 May 19, 2014 [14]
Poinsettia San Diego 600 2.4 May 14, 2014 May 17, 2014 28 structures destroyed [15]
Cocos San Diego 1,995 8.1 May 14, 2014 May 22, 2014 40 structures destroyed [16]
Pulgas San Diego 14,416 58.3 May 15, 2014 May 21, 2014 [17]
San Mateo San Diego 1,457 5.9 May 16, 2014 May 20, 2014 [18]
Shirley Kern 2,545 10.3 June 13, 2014 June 22, 2014 2 structures destroyed [19]
Stony Monterey 4,840 19.6 June 19, 2014 June 22, 2014 [10]
Butts Napa 4,300 17.4 July 1, 2014 July 9, 2014 9 structures destroyed, 2 civilian fatalities [20]
Modoc July Complex Modoc 2,566 10.4 July 1, 2014 July 7, 2014 [10]
Monticello Yolo 6,488 26.3 July 4, 2014 July 12, 2014 [21]
Bully Shasta 12,661 51.2 July 11, 2014 July 28, 2014 20 structures destroyed
1 civilian fatality
[22]
Nicolls Kern 1,680 6.8 July 11, 2014 July 19, 2014 [23]
Dark Hole Mariposa 1,077 4.4 July 16, 2014 August 20, 2014 [24]
Sand El Dorado 4,240 17.2 July 25, 2014 September 2, 2014 67 structures destroyed [25]
Kelley Merced 1,000 4.0 July 26, 2014 July 29, 2014 [10]
El Portal Mariposa 4,689 19.0 July 26, 2014 August 4, 2014 2 structures destroyed [26]
French Madera 13,838 56.0 July 28, 2014 August 18, 2014 [27]
Day Modoc 13,153 53.2 July 30, 2014 August 13, 2014 10 structures destroyed [28]
Lodge Complex Mendocino 12,535 50.7 July 30, 2014 August 9, 2014 [29]
Bald Shasta 39,736 160.8 July 30, 2014 August 16, 2014 [30]
Coffee Complex Trinity 6,178 25.0 July 30, 2014 August 16, 2014 [31]
KNF Beaver Siskiyou 32,496 131.5 July 30, 2014 August 30, 2014 6 structures destroyed [32]
Little Deer Siskiyou 5,503 22.3 July 31, 2014 August 11, 2014 1 structure destroyed [33]
Eiler Shasta 32,416 131.2 July 31, 2014 August 24, 2014 21 structures destroyed [34]
July Complex Siskiyou 50,042 202.5 August 3, 2014 September 25, 2014 2 structures destroyed [35]
Happy Camp Complex Siskiyou 134,056 542.5 August 14, 2014 October 31, 2014 6 structures destroyed [36]
Meadow Mariposa 4,772 19.3 August 15, 2014 September 29, 2014 [37]
Way Kern 4,045 16.4 August 18, 2014 August 28, 2014 12 structures destroyed [38]
Gulch Shasta 1,375 5.6 September 10, 2014 September 16, 2014 4 structures destroyed [39]
King El Dorado 97,717 395.4 September 13, 2014 October 9, 2014 80 structures destroyed [40]
Courtney Madera 320 1.3 September 14, 2014 September 21, 2014 49 structures destroyed [41]
Boles Siskiyou 516 2.1 September 15, 2014 October 11, 2014 157 structures destroyed [42]
Dog Rock Mariposa 311 1.3 October 7, 2014 October 12, 2014 1 firefighter killed [43]

May San Diego County wildfires[edit]

The Cocos Fire burning above CSU San Marcos, on May 14, 2014

In May 2014, a series of at least 20 wildfires broke out in San Diego County during severe Santa Ana Wind conditions, historic drought conditions, and a heat wave. The main event during mid-May was preceded by a precursor fire that ignited on May 5. The severe weather conditions contributed to the spread of at least 19 more individual wildfires, with ten of them receiving names. The Cocos Fire, which was the most destructive with 40 structured being destroyed, was determined to have been caused by arson.[44] The causes of the other fires are still under investigation by multiple agencies, and a joint task force was formed to coordinate the investigations and facilitate communications.[45] Six injuries and one fire-related fatality were reported.

Miguelito Fire[edit]

At 2:00 PM PDT on May 13, the Miguelito Fire broke out off Santa Miguelito Canyon Road in Lompoc, Santa Barbara County. Over the course of the next week and a half, the fire gradually expanded northward to 632 acres (256 ha) towards the direction of Lompoc, before firefighters managed to stop its expansion on May 16. The fire threatened 1,200 buildings in Lompoc, prompting evacuation orders for the affected areas. On May 16, evacuation orders were lifted, after the fire was reported to be 95% contained. At 9:20 AM PDT on May 19, the Miguelito Fire was reported to be 100% contained. No structural damage or injuries were reported.[46]

Hunters Fire[edit]

On May 27, at 3:00 PM PDT, the Hunters Fire broke out at Hunters Valley Access Road Bear Valley Area, in Mariposa County. The fire spread toward populated areas and evacuations were ordered for the Hunters Valley Area.[47]

Stony Fire[edit]

On June 19, at 3:14 PM PDT, the Stony Fire was reported at Stony Valley Range on Fort Hunter Liggett, in Monterey County. The wildfire quickly spread to 5,000 acres (2,000 ha), but it was 100% contained by June 20.[48] Moderate amounts of smoke still lingered within the area, and cleanup work was expected to continue for the next few days. The Nacimiento-Ferguson Road was also closed due to downed trees, but was expected to reopen a couple of days later. No evacuations were ordered for this fire, and no injuries or fatalities were reported. The cause of the wildfire is currently under investigation.

Butts Fire[edit]

On July 1, at 12:08 PM PDT, the Butts Fire broke out near Butts Canyon Road in Pope Valley, California, northwest of Lake Berryessa, in Yolo County.[49][50]

[edit]

The Banner Fire erupted around 10:30 AM PDT on July 3, 2014 in the Banner, California area, near Route 78 in San Diego County. It quickly spread westward and expanded to 150 acres (61 ha), threatening the town of Julian. Portions of Route 78 were closed, and mandatory evacuation was ordered for 200 homes; however, the evacuation order was lifted later that evening, as the containment of the wildfire's perimeter increased. Two homes were destroyed, but the heavy use of firefighting planes and helicopters prevented additional losses.[51]

Monticello Fire[edit]

The fire was reported around 9:30 p.m. on Friday, July 4, and quickly grew in size, due to dry and erratic windy conditions.[52] By 11 PM that night, the fire was 100 acres in size, and by 4 AM the next morning, it was already 1,000 acres, according to Winters City Manager John Donlevy, who added that, "...the hills are literally tinder-dry."[53] Highway 128 west of Winters was shut down due to the fire while thirty-four structures at Golden Bear Estates were immediately threatened, resulting in the mandatory evacuation of residents in that area.[53] A separate voluntary evacuation order for the Canyon Creek Resort campground was also put into effect but lifted later that day.[53] As the fire burned north into rugged, steep terrain, access to the area became difficult, limiting firefighting operations.[52] An American Red Cross Shelter was immediately set up at Winters Community Center at 4 a.m. that Saturday morning for over 40 evacuees.[53]

By Saturday afternoon, on July 5, the fire had reportedly tripped in size to over 5,000 acres (2,000 ha), while containment hovered at a mere 15 percent.[54]

On Sunday, July 6, containment of the Monticello fire grew to 30 percent, while at least 1,275 firefighters were reported battling the blaze.[55] Fire conditions remained volatile as wind directors switched several times throughout the day, reached gusts of up to 20 mph.[55]

All evacuation orders were lifted on Monday, July 7, as containment of the fire grew to 45 percent, with over 1,750 fire personnel on hand.[56] Within the following days, containment lines grew and by July 11, the incident was 95 percent contained with investigators still trying to determine the cause of the fire.[57] The fire was finally contained on July 12, after destroying 6,488 acres (26.26 km2), however no structures were damaged.[58] The cause of the fire was later determined to be firework-related.[59]

Sand Fire[edit]

The Sand Fire was ignited in El Dorado County, five miles north of the Amador County town of Plymouth, on July 25, at 4:34 PM PDT, by a vehicle driving over dry vegetation.[60] A total of 4,240 acres (1,720 ha) were burned, claiming 20 residences and 47 outbuildings. Twelve hundred residences were evacuated before full containment of the wildfire was achieved on August 2.[61]

Gulch Fire[edit]

On September 10, a car fire started a fire in the Bella Vista area.[62] On September 16, the Gulch Fire was fully contained after burning 1,375 acres (556 ha).[63] The wildfire has also injured a total of 4 people.[63] The damage caused by the Gulch Fire is currently unknown.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ London, Christina (May 15, 2014). "Body Found in Ashes of Carlsbad Fire". NBC 7 San Diego. Retrieved May 15, 2014.
  2. ^ a b "Pilot Killed After Airtanker Crash in Yosemite National Park Identified". The Weather Channel. October 9, 2014.
  3. ^ a b Repard, Pauline (May 24, 2014). "County estimates wildfire costs at nearly $60 million". San Diego Union Tribune. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016.
  4. ^ a b "National Report of Wildland Fires and Acres Burned by State" (PDF). National Interagency Fire Center. Retrieved August 8, 2015.
  5. ^ "Wildland Fire Fatalities by Year" (PDF). National Interagency Fire Center. Retrieved September 6, 2015.
  6. ^ a b Ken Pimlott (2015). "2014 Wildfire Activity Statistics" (PDF). CAL FIRE. Retrieved September 11, 2018.
  7. ^ Medina, Jennifer (May 15, 2014). "Fire Season Starts Early, and Fiercely". New York Times. Retrieved May 20, 2014.
  8. ^ "New research finds that global warming is intensifying wildfires". December 3, 2015. Retrieved December 31, 2017.
  9. ^ a b Yoon, J., B. Kravitz, P.J. Rasch, S. Simon Wang, R.R. Gillies, and L. Hipps, 2015: Extreme Fire Season in California: A Glimpse Into the Future?. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 96, S5–S9, https://doi.org/10.1175/BAMS-D-15-00114.1
  10. ^ a b c d e "Large Fires 2014" (PDF). CAL FIRE. June 30, 2015. Retrieved December 11, 2017.
  11. ^ "Colby Fire". CAL FIRE. Retrieved August 5, 2015.
  12. ^ "Etiwanda Fire". CAL FIRE. Retrieved August 5, 2015.
  13. ^ "Bernardo Fire". CAL FIRE. Retrieved September 1, 2015.
  14. ^ "Tomahawk Fire". CAL FIRE. Retrieved September 1, 2015.
  15. ^ "Poinsettia Fire". CAL FIRE. Retrieved August 5, 2015.
  16. ^ "Cocos Fire". CAL FIRE. Retrieved September 1, 2015.
  17. ^ "Pulgas Fire". CAL FIRE. Retrieved September 1, 2015.
  18. ^ "San Mateo Fire". CAL FIRE. Retrieved September 1, 2015.
  19. ^ "Shirley Fire". CAL FIRE. Retrieved August 5, 2015.
  20. ^ "Butts Fire". CAL FIRE. Retrieved August 5, 2015.
  21. ^ "Monticello Fire". CAL FIRE. Retrieved August 5, 2015.
  22. ^ "Bully Fire". CAL FIRE. Retrieved August 5, 2015.
  23. ^ "Nicolls Fire". CAL FIRE. Retrieved August 5, 2015.
  24. ^ "Dark Hole Fire". CAL FIRE. Retrieved August 5, 2015.
  25. ^ "Sand Fire". CAL FIRE. Retrieved August 5, 2015.
  26. ^ "El Portal Fire". CAL FIRE. Retrieved August 5, 2015.
  27. ^ "French Fire". CAL FIRE. Retrieved August 5, 2015.
  28. ^ "Day Fire". CAL FIRE. Retrieved August 5, 2015.
  29. ^ "Lodge Complex Fire". CAL FIRE. Retrieved August 5, 2015.
  30. ^ "Bald Fire". CAL FIRE. Retrieved August 5, 2015.
  31. ^ "Coffee Fire". CAL FIRE. Retrieved August 5, 2015.
  32. ^ "Oregon Gulch Fire Fire". CAL FIRE. Retrieved August 5, 2015.
  33. ^ "Little Deer Fire". CAL FIRE. Retrieved August 5, 2015.
  34. ^ "Eiler Fire". CAL FIRE. Retrieved August 5, 2015.
  35. ^ "July Complex Fire". CAL FIRE. Retrieved August 5, 2015.
  36. ^ "Happy Camp Complex Fire". CAL FIRE. Retrieved August 5, 2015.
  37. ^ "Meadow Fire". CAL FIRE. Retrieved August 5, 2015.
  38. ^ "Way Fire". CAL FIRE. Retrieved August 5, 2015.
  39. ^ "Gulch Fire". CAL FIRE. Retrieved August 5, 2015.
  40. ^ "King Fire". CAL FIRE. Retrieved August 5, 2015.
  41. ^ "Courtney Fire". CAL FIRE. Retrieved August 5, 2015.
  42. ^ "Boles Fire". CAL FIRE. Retrieved August 6, 2015.
  43. ^ "Dog Rock Fire". CAL FIRE. Retrieved August 5, 2015.
  44. ^ Figueroa, Terry (July 10, 2014). "Officials: juvenile started Cocos blaze". San Diego Union Tribune. Archived from the original on July 14, 2014. Retrieved July 10, 2014.
  45. ^ Summers, Dave (May 19, 2014). "Fire Investigations Pooled into 1 Task Force". NBC San Diego. Retrieved May 20, 2014.
  46. ^ "Miguelito Fire". May 19, 2014. Retrieved May 23, 2014.
  47. ^ "Hunters Fire". CalFire. Retrieved May 28, 2014.
  48. ^ "PRESS RELEASE U.S. Army Garrison Fort... - Fort Hunter Liggett - Facebook". facebook.com.
  49. ^ "Butts Fire General Information". ca.gov.
  50. ^ http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-butts-fire-grows-20140702-story.html
  51. ^ "Banner Fire now 40 percent contained; 2 homes lost in fire near Julian". ABC 10 News. July 4, 2014. Retrieved July 5, 2014.
  52. ^ a b Rocha, Veronica. "Monticello fire in Yolo County scorches more than 6,400 acres". LA Times. Retrieved July 7, 2014.
  53. ^ a b c d Aleaziz, Hamed. "Monticello Fire forces evacuation of homes near Lake Berryessa". SFGate. Retrieved July 6, 2014.
  54. ^ Shams, Sharokina. "Homes evacuated as fire near Winters explodes in size". KCRA-TV. Retrieved July 5, 2014.
  55. ^ a b Sernoffsky, Evan; Garofoli, Joe. "Monticello Fire near Lake Berryessa covers almost 6,500 acres". SFGate. Retrieved July 6, 2014.
  56. ^ Sernoffsky, Evan; Williams, Kale. "Evacuations lifted in fire near Lake Berryessa". SFGate. Retrieved July 7, 2014.
  57. ^ Brekke, Dan. "Cal Fire Still Looking for Cause of Massive Monticello Blaze". KWED. Retrieved July 11, 2014.
  58. ^ "Monticello Fire General Information". ca.gov.
  59. ^ Cameron, Katrina; Kurhi, Eric. "Fourth of July gone bad: Fireworks casualty warns of holiday hazard". Mercury News. Retrieved July 1, 2015.
  60. ^ "Sand Fire Incident Information". Cal Fire. August 2, 2014. Retrieved September 22, 2014.
  61. ^ "Sand - Amador". YubaNet.com. August 4, 2014. Archived from the original on September 26, 2015. Retrieved September 22, 2014.
  62. ^ http://www.redding.com/news/local-news/gulch-fire-declared-contained Record Searchlight
  63. ^ a b "Gulch Fire General Information". ca.gov.