Late October has historically seen many large destructive wildfires in California. In addition to the Esperanza fire that killed five U.S. Forest Service firefighters seven years ago today, October 20 through November 1 at times has been an extremely busy period of the year for firefighters.
- October 20, 1991. The Tunnel Fire (or Oakland Hills or East Bay Hills Fire) killed 25 people (23 civilians, 1 police officer and 1 firefighter), injured 150, and destroyed 2,449 single-family dwellings and 437 apartment and condominium units in Oakland.
- October 21, 2007. Witch, Harris, Poomacha, Horno/Ammo, Rice, Ranch, Buckweed, Santiago, and Slide fires in the Southern California counties of San Diego, Riverside, Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino and Ventura.
- October 21 to 26, 2003 Piru, Grand Prix, Old, Paradise, Padua, Simi, Roblar 2, Verdale, Mountain, and Otay.
- October 25, 2003. The Cedar Fire east of San Diego is still ranked as the largest fire in the recorded history of California. It started late in the afternoon and the first night killed 14 people living in Wildcat Canyon and Eucalyptus Hills who had little or no warning. Eight of those killed died while they were evacuating. The fire burned 273,246 acres, and destroyed 2,232 homes in San Diego, Alpine, Harbison Canyon, Crest, Cuyamaca, Julian, and Santa Ysabel. While trying to defend a house near Santa Ysabel, fire Captain Steven Rucker, 38, from the Novato Fire Department was overrun by the fire and killed on October 29.
- November 1, 1966. On the Loop Fire, the El Cariso Hotshots were trapped by flames as they worked on a steep hillside in Pacoima Canyon on the Angeles National Forest. Ten members of the crew perished that day. Another two members succumbed from burn injuries in the following weeks. Most of the nineteen members who survived were critically burned and remained hospitalized for some time.