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CAL Fire Year End Wildfire Ignition Stats A Mixed Bag

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Sonora, CA — CAL Fire year-end Wildfire ignition causes stats are a mixed bag with 2021 showing the numbers went down from 2020.

Clarke Broadcasting requested a tally of last year’s numbers and overall, the number declined from 286 in 2020 to 269 in 2021, a drop of 17. CAL Fire TCU spokesperson Emily Kilgore advised, “We did have a decrease from some of the ignition sources from 2020, but they are relatively consistent when looking across multiple years.” She added, “The three top causes remain debris burning, equipment use and vehicle fires for wildland fires.”

CAL Fire provided this chart listing ignition causes last year compared to 2020:

CAL Fire TCU 2021 Stats *PWF=Playing with fire
CAL Fire TCU 2021 Stats *PWF=Playing with fire

Some key areas include debris burns dropping from 59 to 50 last year and arson from 23 to 16. “We really don’t have an opinion as to why there would be a decrease,” replied Kilgore. “There are just too many variables that contribute to that crime to be able to indicate why there would be a decrease. There is not enough evidence to support any one cause.”

That is supported by the undetermined cause number, which climbed from 62 to 66. Any one of those could actually be arson or any other ignition source listed on the chart but as Kilgore explains, “There is not enough evidence to support any one cause.”

CAL Fire’s goal is to bring those numbers down and that can only be done with the public’s help. Kilgore’s main message is, “The public just generally needs to be aware that their actions could start a vegetation fire and to take the proper precautions. It will protect your home, community, and your loved ones in the long run.”

The “One Less Spark One Less Wildfire” program can help with tips on fire prevention, click here.