Timeline of Homeland Security Events and Milestones


2018 California Wildfires

(Credit: CAL FIRE)

February 18, 2018: A combination of low humidity, wind, and extremely dry conditions led to a particularly active year for wildfires in California. A state of emergency was declared on August 4, 2018.

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Thomas Fire

(Credit: NASA)

December 4, 2017: A quick-moving wildfire began north of Santa Paula, CA south of Thomas Aquinas College, and burns over 280,000+ acres, becoming the largest wildfire in California history.

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Tubbs Fire

(Credit: Phoenix7777/wiki commons)

October 8, 2017: A fast-growing fire broke out near Tubbs Lane in Calistoga, CA and would continue to burn for 23 days, becoming the most destructive wildfire in California history.

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Western/Southeast Wildfires – Summer/Fall 2016

Widlfire, Great Smoky Mountains - NPS

(Credit: National Park Service)

June-December 2016: Drought conditions contributed to an active wildfire season with over 5.0 million acres burned nationally. A devastating firestorm impacted Gatlinburg, Tennessee when hurricane-force wind gusts in extremely dry conditions created volatile wildfire behavior.

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Western and Alaskan Wildfires – Summer/Fall 2015

Sockeye Wildfire, Alaska 2015

(Credit: CDC)

June-November 2015: Wildfires burned over 10.1 million acres across the U.S. in 2015, surpassing 2006 for the highest annual total of U.S. acreage burned since record-keeping began in 1960.

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Western Wildfires – Summer 2007

(Credit: NASA)

June-August 2007: Drought conditions and high winds over much of the western U.S. resulted in numerous wildfires. National acreage burned exceeded 8.9 million acres, and over 3,000 homes and structures were destroyed in southern California alone.

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California Fire Siege 2003

(Senior Master Sgt. Dennis W. Goff/USAF)

October 2003: Dry weather, high winds, and resulting wildfires in Southern California burned over 3,700 homes. Over 750,000 acres burned in 14 major fires.

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Oakland Firestorm

Ground level photo of Oakland Hills fire.

(Credit: NASA/DART)

October 19-22, 1991: The largest dollar fire loss in United States history occurred in the East Bay Hills, within the California cities of Oakland and Berkeley, in October 1991. Twenty-five lives were lost and more than 3,000 structures were destroyed.
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Peshtigo Fire

(Credit: Ruhrfisch/US Census)

October 8, 1871: A devastating forest fire sweeps through northeast Wisconsin and is considered to be the deadliest fire in American history.

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