7 Wildfire Facts

Recent years have had record-breaking, wildfire seasons – especially on the west coast of North America. British Columbia has lost over 2.86 million (yes million!) acres to deforestation from wildfires while totals are at over 1 million acres for California in the U.S., with another 1-2 million combined in Oregon, Washington, Montana, and surrounding states. Below you can also checkout our video on why California has so many fire, which was part of our State of California video series. 

And this is just a part of the overall story, as the wildfires are raging in many regions around the world, including Brazil, Indonesia, Zambia, Greenland and many, many more (here is a forest fires map).


Taiga or Boreal Forest


About 90% of wildfires in the United States are started by humans.

Temperate Rainforest

2. lightning strikes

In a non-human world, wildfires would mostly be started by lightning strikes.

Recycling Paper


On average, more than 100,000 wildfires clear 4-5 million acres (1.6-2 million hectares) of land in the U.S. every year. In recent years, wildfires have burned up to 9 million acres (3.6 million hectares) of land.

Sea water

4. restoration

It takes an average of 2-4 years after a wildfire before reforestation efforts can begin. Saplings simply wouldn’t survive until the soil has begun to naturally replenish, can absorb water, and can support new life. It also takes time to mobilize resources for large-scale reforestation.


5. prevention

Increases in the cost of battling active wildfires have greatly reduced the budgets available for prevention, which creates a domino effect of worsening conditions.

Ocean Thermal Energy

6. climate change

Climate change, as predicted, is fueling longer, stronger, and quicker-to-start wildfires.

Aluminum cans

7. pioneer species

After wildfires, pioneer species of plants and fungus are the first to colonize the damaged ecosystem, beginning a chain of ecological succession that leads to biodiversity and stability. When this happens, it is a sign that reforestation can begin in order to hasten recovery.

What is One Tree Planted doing, and can you help?

We're connecting with our partners on the ground to establish viable reforestation projects when the recently affected regions are ready for planting. This includes Cal Fire, the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection in California.

Planting trees in the areas that are ready for saplings now, including California, Oregon, British Columbia, Colorado, and Indonesia. Exploring ways to fund initiatives that are complementary to planting trees, such as education programs. And exploring more on-the-ground partnerships in the states or countries where we do not have them yet. 

You can help today by planting trees to support forest fire recovery!

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Forest Fire Recovery

Join us in restoring our forests, one tree at a time. Reforestation is one of the best ways to restore soil and lanscapes from fire damage made to previously healthy environments. Learn more

With your help, we will:

  • Reforest lands damaged by record-setting fires
  • Support habitat for iconic biodiversity
  • Together, create a positive impact for generations to come
  • We are planting trees in various locations affected by fires, with a current focus on Oregon and British Columbia. We only plant local native tree species, and reforestation starts once professional assessments are made to determine where human intervention would be most ecologically beneficial due to a lack of natural regeneration. Help restore these vital ecosystems by planting a tree 🌿
  • Our current focus is on the West coast of North America, where fires are burning in Oregon and the surrounding region to start an early fire season. Oregon's Bootleg fire is the largest in the US in 2021, with over 400,000 acres already burned. With so much fire damage, reforestation is essential in catalyzing the environmental recovery process, preventing invasive species, and restoring homes for biodiversity. As a result, there will be a need for hundreds of millions of trees. Let's get to work! 🌲
  • A personalized tree certificate (see gallery) to say thanks for your donation. We'll also send you updates on the specific reforestation project your donation is benefiting from so you can track the impact your trees are having on the community and environment.
  • The west coast's rich forest diversity includes dozens of different species of native trees, including some of the world's most exciting and valuable tree species. These include pine, spruce, fir, hemlock, western red cedar, giant sequoia, oak, and sycamore. To maximize the impact of your donation, our partners will determine the most appropriate species of tree to plant depending on the time of year and local ecosystem needs.

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