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How this year's wildfire season compares to past years

At least 8.5 million acres have been torched by wildfires so far this year across the United States, according to data from the National Interagency Coordination Center — about 2.1 million acres above the 10-year average of 6.3 million acres burned by this point in the year. California has been particularly hard hit.

Data: National Interagency Coordination Center; Note: Cumulative counts are sometimes revised, causing short-lived spikes or dips in the number of acres burned; Chart: Axios Visuals

The big picture: California's Camp Fire, the deadliest wildfire in the state's history, has burned more than 140,000 acres so far and claimed at least 56 lives. It was only 40% contained as of Thursday morning. It's already historic in both its size and destructiveness, having burned over 8,500 homes.

  • California's fire siege has resulted from a combination of one of the state's hottest years on record, combined with extraordinarily dry vegetation along with frequent bouts of strong winds.

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