Taking a long term look at the destruction caused by wildfires in the U.S., the acreage that was burned increased dramatically in the last 20 years.
While acreage burned in the previous 10 year intervals was actually decreasing before, those numbers jumped up for the decades 2000-2009 and 2010-2019, according to numbers from the National Interagency Fire Center. For both time slots, around 61 million and around 68 million acres were burned in the U.S. While the acreage destroyed by fires has been increasing, so has the cost of wildfire mitigation and the amount of money lost to fires. This is due to human settlements expanding further into forested regions, making it increasingly more expensive to protect and save homes from fires.
In California alone, annual fire suppression costs reached $422 million in the last decade.