Top 6 Disastrous Wildfires in History

Photo by Ververidis Vasilis from Shutterstock

2003 Siberian Taiga Fires (Russia) – 55 million acres

Back in 2003, during one of the hottest summers in Europe, a lot of extremely devastating blazes occurred in the taiga forests of Eastern Siberia, destroying over 55 million acres of land.

There was a combination of extremely hot conditions and increased human exploitation in the past couple of years, which are believed to be the reason why the most devastating wildfire in human history occurred.

The fires spread all over Siberia and the Russian Far East, but also in northern China, and northern Mongolia. It sent a large plumber of smoke that reached all the way to Kyoto, which is thousands of miles away.

1919/2020 Australian Bushfires (Australia) – 42 million acres

The 2020 Australian bushfires occurred almost at the same time as the Covid-19 pandemic. What happened that year was only a sneak peek of what could happen in the future.

These wildfires surely went down in history for the catastrophic impact they had on wildlife. The extreme bushfires completely destroyed New South Wales and Queensland in southeastern Australia, burning no less than 42 million acres, ruining thousands of buildings, and killing dozens of people, and 3 billion animals (out of which 61,000 were only koalas).

Australia went through the hottest and driest year in its entire history, which was one of the reasons why these devastating wildfires occurred in the first place.

2014 Northwest Territories Fires (Canada) – 8.5 million acres

In the summer of 2014, more than 150 separate fires tore apart the Northwest Territories, which is an area of around 442 square miles in northern Canada. Well, authorities say that 13 of them were caused by humans.

The smoke sparked all kinds of air quality warnings across the entire country, but also in the US. The smoke could be seen from Portugal and western Europe, too, so you can only imagine the depth of it.

Almost 8.5 million acres of forest were fully ruined and firefighters’ operations cost no less than US$44.4 million. All these devastating consequences made the Northwest Territories Fires one of the worst incidents in almost three decades.

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