The land is on fire – number of wildfires and burning acres


Pavel Prikhodko, Ph.D. Machine Learning

According to, a total of 67,740 wildland fires were recorded in the United States in 2016. In comparison, this number was higher in the previous year, which saw 68,151 land fires. In 2014, the number of wildland fires amounted to only 63,312. About 5.51 million acres of land burned due to wildland fires in 2016, a sharp decrease from the 10.13 million acres burned in 2015. In 2014 and 2013, the numbers were even smaller — just 3.6 million acres were burnt in 2014, and 4.3 million acres were destroyed in 2013.

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In 2016, Texas experienced more wildland fires than any other state with 9,300 wildfires reported, burning about 356,680 acres. In the same year, 7,349 wildfires occurred in California, which created 560,815 acres of burned land. Georgia registered 5,086 wildfires, burning a total area of 52,119 acres.

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According to a National Interagency Coordination Center report, the number of human-caused fires amounted to 351 (26,652 burning acres) in Alaska in 2015. The eastern region of the U.S. experienced 11,553 human-caused fires, which burned 100,094 acres of land. The highest number of human-caused fires was reported in the South: over 30,000 accidents burned 467,319 acres. Across the entire country, humans caused a total of 58,916 fires, burning a total of approximately 2,012,462 acres.

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About Pavel Prikhodko


Pavel Prikhodko, Ph.D. Machine Learning

Pavel has worked for many years as a researcher and developer on a wide range of applications (varying from mechanics and manufacturing to social data, finance and advertising), building predictive systems and trying to find stories that data can tell.

In his free time, he enjoys being with his family.

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