In 2002 what is considered to be one of the worst brush fires (as if there was ever a “good brush fire” and controlled burns don’t count) in California’s history ripped through the Sequoia National Forest and a portion of the Inyo National Forest.
The fire burned from July 21st to August 29th, destroyed a total of 150,670 acres, 14 structures, and cost approximately $45.7 million to extinguish. The fire was eventually linked to a woman from Bakersfield named Peri Dare Van Brunt. She let a campfire she had been using to cook a meal burn out of control at Road's End Resort.
A United States Forest Service day-by-day breakdown of the cost, acres contained, and staggering amount of personnel needed to fight a brush fire can be found here at ponderosaca.com. Ponderosa is a Census-designated place in Tulare County. The tiny town was one of the two communities threatened by the fire.