Cal Fire says that their dataset — which runs from 1878 to 2019 as of May 2020 — is the most complete dataset of California wildfire perimeters before 1950. However, the pre-1950 information shown here is incomplete and should not be used for further analysis.
As of September 2020, Cal Fire had found that its dataset is missing 483 notable fires. The agency is currently looking into how they can find some of these large missing fires, and hopes to include them in a future update. This in no way invalidates this dataset, according to Cal Fire.
Cal Fire’s data on this map shows timber fires that burned more than 10 acres, brush fires that burned more than 50 acres and grass fires that burned more than 300 acres.
This map shows the perimeters of Cal Fire and the U.S. Geological Survey’s recorded wildfires, but it should be noted that not everything within a wildfire perimeter has burned. This means that the areas shown here do not necessarily represent burned areas.
CapRadio changed the names of two fires from the names reported by Cal Fire. Cal Fire’s names for the fires included a racial slur, so we have edited the word in accordance with Associated Press guidelines and our own standards.
This map and data is not intended to be used for legal purposes in identifying fire lines.