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2021 A Busy Year For CAL Fire

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Sonora, CA – Calling it a year that “continued to test many,” CAL Fire officials released the statistics on last year’s statewide emergency responses – that included four of the 20 largest blazes in California history.

In a social media post, CAL Fire noted the “immense amount of work CAL Fire took part in during 2021” that included wildfires to medical emergencies, while also focusing on prevention and reforestation efforts. In total, CAL Fire responded to more than 511,000 calls for emergency services, traffic incidents, structure fires, and medical emergencies, and a key area of response to wildfires. CAL Fire provided these stats for those fires last year:

  • Responded to 8,780 fires that scorched more than 2.5 million acres with Incident Management Teams (called in to oversee/manage large fires) activated seven times. Two of those blazes ignited in August were the Airola Fire in Calaveras County and the Washington Fire in Sonora and Jamestown in Tuolumne County with both causes remaining unknown, as detailed here.
  • Aircraft dropped more than 17,000,000 gallons of retardant and more than 12,000,000 gallons of water
  • 140 arson arrests were made in the state. (That number included a man and a woman in Amador County arrested in September for allegedly setting two separate fires, as reported here. Also of note in 2021,  a Mountain Ranch man plead guilty to arson in the Boards Crossing area of Calaveras County in October, as detailed here.)
  • Restoration efforts statewide included more than 225,000 seedlings grown
  • Four of the 20 largest blazes in the state were ignited in 2021.
CAL Fire’s 20 Largest Wildfires

On Tuesday, CAL Fire revealed the cause of the second biggest wildfire, the Dixie Fire that burned 963,309 acres across areas of Butte, Plumas, Lassen, Shasta, and Tehama counties was due to PG&E equipment, as earlier reported here. The other fires include number 14 the Monument Fire in Trinity County, the Caldor Fire in Alpine, Amador and El Dorado counties at 15, and at 17 is the River Complex Fire in Siskiyou and Trinity counties. Here is the entire list.

Regarding the statistics for the CAL Fire Tuolumne-Calaveras Unit last year, spokesperson Emily Kilgore told Clarke Broadcasting those numbers are still being tallied. She stressed, “It takes some time to compile because we have to verify each entry.” Kilgore added that as soon as the totals are in that information will be reported out.

In the statewide stat social media posting, CAL Fire also relayed, “As we start the new year, we look forward to continuing to serve the citizens of California in 2022 and beyond.”