Five deadliest forest fires in the 21st Century

Forest fires are major threat for the environment. Every year, forest fires cause irreparable damage to the ecological system.


There are various components that contribute to an increased fire risk such as long drought periods, high temperature, strong winds and inflammable soil. Forest fires don’t just affect the ecosystem, but the economy and society.


Here are top 5 Forest fire cases that are considered as greatest ecological disasters of the century:


Taylor Complex Fire: 2004

This fire was a part of record-breaking 2004 fire season in Alaska that burned a combined 6.6 million acres of land. It was the single largest wildfire in United States during the period of 1997 to 2007 and accounted for 1.3 million acres alone, leading to the destruction of 38 communities and death of 453 people.


Murphy Complex Fire: 2007

Spreading through the regions of Idaho and Nevada, the Murphy Complex Fire burned an estimated 653,000 acres of land. It was a combination of six wildfires caused by lightning and spreading quickly due to the hot and dry conditions, which resulted in damaging a wide variety of natural resources including plants, animals, people and property.


California Wildfires: 2008

The 2008 California Wildfire Season was one of the most devastating since the turn of the 21st century. The fires were believed to be caused by a combination of lightning and heat which resulted in destroying over 1.5 million acres of land. 23 people were killed in the wildfires.


Wallow Fire: 2011

The Wallow Fire was named after the Bear Wallow Wilderness, where the blaze in Arizona and New Mexico started. It is believed that fire started spreading by an abandoned campfire and as a result over 538,000 acres of land, 72 buildings and 16 people were perished.


Indonesia Forest Fire: 2015

Indonesia’s tropical forests are probably the most diverse habitats on the planet. According to the Environmental group WWF Indonesia, the fires were caused by the “collective negligence” of companies, small holders and government. 21,000 sq km of the forest area was destroyed by the fire (which is three times the area of Singapore). 19 people died and an estimated 500,000 cases of acute respiratory infections were reported.


News24 Bureau