Maps show where wildfires have burned over and over again in LA county

Source(s)
Vox Media Inc.

By Patrick Sisson

Maps of wildfire activity in Los Angeles County from 1970 to present, show the cumulative amount of fires that have burned more than 5,000 acres, in 1975, 2000, and 2018. The darker the shade of red, the more times an area has burned.

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As Los Angeles, and even the country at large take stock of the aftermath of this year’s record-setting wildfire season, [Chris Folkman, Senior Director of Product Management at Risk Management Solutions] says that fires such as Woolsey underscore just how much public policy and development have not kept up with the evolving nature of these natural disasters.

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The RMS maps provided to Curbed show select wildfire activity in Los Angeles County from to 1970 to present. In that time, there have been 57 wildfires larger than 5,000 acres, with some locations—including along the Malibu Canyon Road corridor—burning as many as six times.

In Los Angeles and Ventura Counties, historical fire footprints illustrate the regular occurrence of these events, RMS analysts said.

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The maps of LA wildfires over time may appear to show the number of fires increasing since 1975, but it’s actually the size, not the frequency, that’s increasing. Most are relatively small—Calfire data shows 95 percent of fires are kept under 10 acres—but recently, those which have spread have become bigger, due to changing ecological conditions.

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