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Scorched and smothered by wildfires, California's 13 months of hell

Charred hills from Woodsey Fire.
Blackened and charred hills from the Woolsey Fire which made it all the way to the Pacific Ocean. Photo: Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images.

California is never immune to big fires, but a look at the past 13 months reveals a horrifying path of destruction that deserves equal screen time to the latest political intrigues.

Driving the news: Parts of the state are blanketed in smoke, with temperatures dropping as a result and residents scrambling to get specialized masks to help filter the air. The state's air quality is currently the worst in the nation as a result of the fires, Bloomberg reports.

By the numbers over the past 13 months, per CalFire (** indicates active fire):

  1. Mendocino Complex: 459,123 acres, 280 structures, 1 death
  2. Thomas: 281,893 acres; 1,063 structures; 2 deaths
  3. Carr: 229,651 acres; 1,604 structures; 8 deaths
  4. Witch: 197,990 acres; 1,650 structures, 2 deaths
  5. **Camp: 142,000 acres; 12,256 structures; 66 deaths
  6. **Woolsey: Nearly 100,000 acres; ~600 structures; 3 deaths
  7. Nuns: 54,382 acres; 1,355 structures; 3 deaths
  8. Tubbs: 36,807 acres; 5,636 structures, 22 deaths

The big picture: 14 of the 20 most destructive fires in the state have been since 2000, along with 15 of the 20 largest by acreage.

Rescue workers search the Paradise Gardens apartments for victims of the Camp Fire.
Rescue workers search the Paradise Gardens apartments for victims of the Camp Fire. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

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