Journal NOW: California wildfire tops the 2017 list of catastrophic multiple-death fires and explosions in the U.S.

Blog Post created by scottsutherland Employee on Sep 20, 2018


A series of California wildfires that killed 44 people was the deadliest fire event in the country in 2017.


That event was one of 21 fires and explosions that were considered catastrophic multiple-death fire events last year, and is presented as part of the excerpted report “Catastrophic Multiple-Death Fires and Explosions in the United States in 2017,” which appears in the new September/October 2018 issue of NFPA Journal.


NFPA defines catastrophic multiple-death events as fires or explosions that cause five or more deaths in a home or three or more deaths in non-home structures, or in fires outside of structures such as wildfires. In 2017, these events

killed 150 people, including 21 children under the age of six. Of those 21 fires, 14 occurred in homes and accounted for 84 deaths.


By far the largest loss of life occurred in an event known as the 2017 October Fire Siege in Northern California. In addition to the 44 people who died, fires destroyed an estimated 8,900 structures, burned 245,000 acres, forced the evacuation of more than 100,000 people, and resulted in property damage of more than $9 billion.


The September/October issue of NFPA Journal also includes an excerpted version of another report, “Fire Loss in the United States in 2017,” along with a cover story on how colleges and universities are rethinking campus safety in the age of active shooters.