It was a busier-than-usual summer for California firefighters, with 1,500 more blazes than last year. But the fires weren't big ones. They only burned about 50,000 acres, far below the 230,000-acre average over the last five years. CAL FIRE's Daniel Berlant says this year was far milder than the record-setting seasons of 2007 and 2008.
Berlant: "The amount of large and damaging wildfires this year was significantly less. We really only had a handful of fires that grew over 10,000 acres or so. And a lot of that has to do with the cooperative weather. Mother Nature plays the biggest factor in whether a fire's going to become a large and damaging fire or not."
The weather was cooler and wetter this year in much of the state. It rained a lot in the spring. And it even started raining a bit early this fall. Berlant says all those factors helped keep fire damage to a minimum.