A wildfire is an uncontrolled fire in an area of combustible vegetation that occurs in the countryside area.Other names such as brush fire, bush fire, forest fire, desert fire, grass fire, hill fire, peat fire, vegetation fire, and veldfire may be used to describe the same phenomenon depending on the type of vegetation being burned, and the regional variant of English being used. A wildfire differs from other fires by its extensive size, the speed at which it can spread out from its original source, its potential to change direction unexpectedly, and its ability to jump gaps such as roads, rivers and fire breaks. Wildfires are characterized in terms of the cause of ignition, their physical properties such as speed of propagation, the combustible material present, and the effect of weather on the fire.
2007 California wildfires
Each wildfire season in California seems to top the last, but the 2007 wildfires are especially notable for leading to the largest evacuation in California history. In total, the fires displaced nearly 1 million people and razed at least 1,500 homes in the San Diego area alone. The area covered by the various blazes was massive: more than 500,000 acres stretching from Santa Barbara County all the way to the U.S.-Mexico border.