The United States as a whole may finally be feeling winter's chill, but the newly released 2015 wildfire numbers serve as a reminder of how hot and smoky the past year was.
The National Interagency Fire Center's numbers vividly illustrate how 2015 was a record setter. U.S. wildfires scorched 10.12 million acres.
That bests the previous mark of 9.87 million acres set in 2006, and it's the first time wildfire acreage burned has crossed the 10-million acre threshold. The impacts of climate change mean that the threshold will likely be crossed more often in the coming century as wildfire season lasts longer and sparks more large fires.
In 2015, the three largest fires were all in Alaska. Five of the top 10 were in the Pacific Northwest while the other two were in California. Combined, the 10 largest blazes accounted for nearly a quarter of all the acres burned in 2015.
Among the largest blazes, some will go down in state record books. The two California fires on the list - the Valley and Butte Fires - both rank among the top 10 most destructive fires in state history. The Okanogan Fire in Washington was the state's largest on record.