The Most Devastating Fires Of 2020

Map of The World's Worst Fires of 2020

The World's Worst Fires of 2020

From Australia to the Americas, 2020 saw some parts of the world completely ravaged by fire. As communities continue to press upon wild areas, it seems that fires are becoming worse and worse, with their consequences never more devastating.

Climate change is also leading to hotter climates, causing dried-out grasses and forest debris to fuel these fires further, putting more and more homes and lives in harm’s way.

California Fires

2020 heralded five of the six largest fires to ever burn in California. These fires covered an area of over four million acres. This was double the two-million-acre record set in 2018. August was the worst month by far, with that fire covering more than one million acres alone. The fire’s biggest casualty was the Big Basin Redwoods State Park, which is California’s oldest state park at 118 years in the making.

Map of the United States Worst Fires of 2020

Colorado Cameron Peak Fire

The state of Colorado in North America recorded their largest ever fire in October of 2020 with the Cameron Peak Fire. More than 208,000 acres burned in this fire beating the Pine Gulch Fire record which was set just two months prior.

The Australian Bushfires

The biggest fire of 2020, and the second largest of the 21st century was no doubt the Australian Bushfires. Although fires began to burn in Australia back in 2019, they continued to wreak havoc in the country until around March 2020, particularly in the state of New South Wales.

The fires marked one of the worst seasons on record for Australia, leading to the deaths of at least 478 people, the destruction of over 5,900 buildings, and a burned area that extended beyond 18 million acres. The wildfires also had a serious effect on the wildlife of Australia, killing at least 5,000 endemic koala bears, the equivalent of 12% of the population.

Canary Island Fires

In February of 2020, strong winds, fires, and sandstorms ripped throughout the Canary Islands. The fires, which centered around the tourist areas of Gran Canaria and Tenerife, left thousands of tourists stranded, burned several homes and more than 300 hectares of land. More than 500 residents also needed to be evacuated.

Poland Fires

In April of this year, thousands of hectares of the land went up in smoke in Poland’s biggest national park, Biebrza National Park. The fire was said to have the best odds of being started by farmers who were illegally burning grass and exacerbated by the drought in Poland, the worst the country experienced in years.

Amazon Rainforest

While the Amazon Rainforest experiences fire every year, fires in the region rose by 20% in 2020 with a staggering 2,248 fires detected in the year. This marks some of the worst fires in over a decade, with fires predominately spread over two months between August and September, whereas in previous years only a single month high was recorded.

The Amazon is also in the throes of a bad drought, which only served to exacerbate the problem, causing more burning of virgin forest, rather than just being contained to farming areas.

Popular Maps