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Stats for Stories: *Special Edition* Fires in California

Release Number CB17-SFS.72

Governor’s Office of Emergency Services: Incident Overview — Firefighters began battling multiple wildfires on October 8 in numerous counties across the entire state, prompting mass evacuations. Thousands of acres burned and threatened infrastructure as strong winds fueled the fast-moving fires. 

California Statewide Fire Summary: Sunday, October 15, 2017— 217,566 acres have burned in the current 15 large fires, with an estimated 5,700 structures destroyed. Sadly, the death toll has risen to 40 people. Progress has been made on several fronts and many evacuations have been lifted. As of (this) morning, nearly 75,000 people remain evacuated.

Residents are urged to be prepared for wildfires now.

Using U.S. Census Bureau Data for Emergency Response and Recovery

The Census Bureau has publicly available statistics and free tools, including:

American Community Survey (ACS): The only reliable and timely source of comprehensive social, economic, housing and demographic characteristics of the U.S. population at the community level.

American FactFinder: A detailed data tool that allows you to access over 11 billion statistics from the ACS every year on topics such as language, disability status, vehicle availability and much more.

Census Business Builder: Regional Analyst Edition — 2.2: A new tool built for chambers of commerce and regional planning staff who need a broad portrait of the people and businesses in a user-defined region.

OnTheMap for Emergency Management: An intuitive, web-based data tool that allows you to access detailed workforce, population and housing characteristics for the hurricane areas in real time.

Key Stats:

OnTheMap for Emergency Management provides real-time access to a range of detailed Census Bureau data about the people living and working in federal disaster declaration areas and areas being affected by hurricanes, floods, wildfires and winter storms. 

Sources: 2010 Decennial Census data, 2011-2015 American Community Survey 5-year estimates and 2014 Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics Origin-Destination Employment Statistics.

Note: The map above is zoomed in to California to show all wildfires and affected areas. Wildfires are listed by affected population from greatest to least. Click on the image to view the full page, then click on any fire to see detailed characteristics and other stats.

More Stats:

Source: QuickFacts — Statistics for all states and counties, and for cities and towns with a population of 5,000 or more.

QuickFacts data are derived from the Census Bureau’s Population Estimates, American Community Survey, Census of Population and Housing, Current Population Survey, Small Area Health Insurance Estimates, Small Area Income and Poverty Estimates, State and County Housing Unit Estimates, County Business Patterns, Nonemployer Statistics, Economic Census, Survey of Business Owners and from building permits.

Source:, Topics, Emergency Preparedness

Note: Regional Analyst Edition is built for chambers of commerce and regional planning staff who need a broad portrait of the people and businesses in their service area. It presents data for all sectors of the economy and for a user-defined region made up of one or more areas.

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