Historically Significant Wildland Fires
Date Name Location Acres Significance
October 1804 Fire recorded by Lewis and Clark North Dakota NA A prairie was set on fire which resulted in 2 lives lost and 3 injuries.
A mother saved her son by covering him with a green buffalo skin which acted like a fire shelter.
March 1805 Fire recorded by Lewis and Clark undetermined undetermined It was common for the Native Americans to ignite fires on the plains every spring to benefit the horses and buffalo.
October 1825 Miramichi and Maine Fires New Brunswick and Maine 3,000,000 160 lives lost
Large amount of acreage burned
1845 Great Fire Oregon 1,500,000 Large amount of acreage burned
1853 Yaquina Oregon 450,000 Large amount of acreage burned
1868 Coos Oregon 300,000 Large amount of acreage burned
October 1871 Peshtigo Wisconsin and Michigan 3,780,000 1,500 lives lost in Wisconsin
1871 Great Chicago Illinois undetermined 250 lives lost
17,400 structures destroyed
September 1881 Lower Michigan Michigan 2,500,000 169 lives lost
3,000 structures destroyed
September 1894 Hinckley Minnesota 160,000 418 lives lost
September 1894 Wisconsin Wisconsin Several Million Undetermined, some lives lost
February 1898 Series of South Carolina fires South Carolina 3,000,000 Unconfirmed reports indicate 14 lives lost and numerous structures and sawmills destroyed
September 1902 Yacoult Washington and Oregon 1,000,000 + 38 lives lost
April 1903 Adirondack New York 637,000 Large amount of acreage burned
August 1910 Great Idaho Idaho and Montana 3,000,000 85 lives lost
October 1918 Cloquet-Moose Lake Minnesota 1,200,000 450 lives lost
38 communities destroyed
September 1923 Giant Berkley California undetermined 624 structures destroyed and 50 city blocks were leveled
August 1933 Tillamook Oregon 311,000 1 life lost
Same area burned again in 1939
October 1933 Griffith Park California undetermined 29 lives lost and 150 injured people
August 1937 Blackwater Wyoming undetermined 15 lives lost and 38 injured people
July 1939 Northern Nevada Nevada undetermined 5 lives lost
First recorded firefighting fatality in a sage brush fuel type
October 1943 Hauser Creek California 10,000 11 US Marines killed and 72 injuries
Fire was started by a gunnery practice
October 1947 Maine Maine 205,678 16 lives lost
1949 Mann Gulch Montana 4,339 13 smokejumpers killed
July 1953 Rattlesnake California undetermined 15 lives lost
1956 Inaja California 43,000 11 lives lost
November 1966 Loop California undetermined 13 El Cariso Hotshots lost their lives
1967 Sundance Idaho 56,000 Burned 50,000 acres in just nine hours
September 1970 Laguna California 175,425 382 structures destroyed
July 1972 Moccasin Mesa New Mexico 2,680 Fire suppression activities destroyed many archeological sites, which resulted in a national policy to include cultural resource oversight in wildland fires on federal lands
July 1976 Battlement Creek Colorado undetermined 5 lives lost
July 1977 Sycamore California 805 234 structures destroyed
November 1980 Panorama California 23,600 325 structures destroyed
1985 Butte Idaho undetermined 72 firefighters deployed fire shelters for 1 to 2 hours
1987 Siege of 87' California 640,000 Valuable timber lost on the Klamath and Stanislaus National Forests
1988 Yellowstone Montana and Idaho 1,585,000 Large amount of acreage burned
September 1988 Canyon Creek Montana 250,000 Large amount of acreage burned
June 1990 Painted Cave California 4,900 641 structures destroyed
June 1990 Dude Fire Arizona 24,174 6 lives lost
63 homes destroyed
October 1991 Oakland Hills California 1,500 25 lives lost and 2,900 structures destroyed
August 1992 Foothills Fire Idaho 257,000 1 life lost
1993 Laguna Hills California 17,000 366 structures destroyed in 6 hours
July 1994 South Canyon Fire Colorado 1,856 14 lives lost
July 1994 Idaho City Complex Idaho 154,000 1 life lost
August 1995 Sunrise Long Island 5,000 This fire woke up many to the fact that the East can have fires similar to the West.
August 1996 Cox Wells Idaho 219,000 Largest fire of the year
June 1996 Millers Reach  Alaska 37,336 344 structures destroyed
July 1997 Inowak  Alaska 610,000 Threatened 3 villages
1998 Volusia Complex Florida 111,130 Thousands of people evacuated from several counties
1998 Flagler/St. John Florida 94,656 Forced the evacuation of thousands of residents
August 1999 Dunn Glen Complex Nevada 288,220 Largest fire of the year
August - November 1999 Big Bar Complex California 140,947 Series of fires caused several evacuations during a 3 1/2 month period
September - November 1999 Kirk Complex California 86,700  Hundreds of people were evacuated by this complex of fires that burned for almost 3 months
May 2000 Cerro Grande New Mexico 47,650 Originally a prescribed fire, 235 structures destroyed and
Los Alamos National Laboratory damaged
July 2001 Thirtymile Washington 9,300 14 fire shelters were deployed
4 lives lost
June 2002 Hayman Colorado 136,000 600 structures destroyed
June 2002 Rodeo-Chediski Arizona 462,000 426 structures destroyed
July 2003 Cramer Idaho 13,845 2 lives lost
October 2003 Cedar California 275,000 2,400 structures destroyed
15 lives lost
2004 Taylor Complex Alaska 1,305,592 Alaska fires during 2004 burned over 6.38 million acres
June 2005 Cave Creek Complex Arizona 248,310 11 structures destroyed
Largest fire ever recorded in the Sonoran Desert
March 2006 East Amarillo Complex Texas 907,245 80 structures destroyed
12 lives lost
Largest fire during 2006 fire season
April 2007 Big Turnaround Complex Georgia 388,017 Largest fire for the US Fish & Wildlife Service outside of Alaska
July 2007 Murphy Complex Idaho 652,016 One of the largest fires in Idaho
2010 Long Butte Idaho 300,000  
2010 Jefferson Idaho 109,000  
June 2010 Schultz Arizona 15,000 Threatened hundreds of homes. Tragically, a 12-year-old girl was killed by flash floods that came out of the area burned by this fire.
2010 Four Mile Canyon Colorado 6,250 A wind-driven fire northwest of Boulder, Colorado burned more than 170 structures and one wildland fire engine.
  Bastrop County Complex Texas   1,400 residences burned in three days and two civilians were killed.
June 2011 Las Conchas New Mexico 156,000 Threatened Los Alamos National Laboratory.
June 2011 Wallow Arizona and New Mexico 538,000 Largest single fire ever recorded in the lower 48 states.
August 2011 Pagami Creek Minnesota 94,000 A significant four-day wind event caused 82,000 acres to burn in late August and early September.
May 2012 Whitewater-Baldy New Mexico 297,845 Largest fire in New Mexico.
June 2012 Waldo Canyon Colorado 18,947 346 homes burned.
June 2012 White Draw South Dakota 9,000 C-130 airtanker crash kills 4 crewmembers.
July 2012 Long Draw Oregon 557,628 One of the largest fires in Oregon.
June 2013 Yarnell Hill Arizona 8,400 19 lives lost
August 2013 Rim California 257,314 Largest fire in California's history

Source: National Interagency Coordination Center, National Fire and Aviation Management Web Applications, and National Wildfire Coordinating Group Safety Grams.