Washington, D.C. — Extreme weather and record-breaking storms driven by climate change were unrelenting during 2020, causing billions in damages, burning millions of acres, and killing hundreds, according to a compilation released today by Climate Power.

That devastation was felt throughout Colorado, as the state faced its worst wildfire season on record, which included three of the four largest wildfires in state history.

The data draws a painful picture of the harm of 2020. Wildfires decimated more than 624,000 acres in Colorado, killing at least two people. These historic blazes decimated more than 550 structures and are believed to have caused more than $195 million in damages. The fires in Colorado and the West resulted in some of the worst air quality ever for the country and studies found that the smoke from the climate change-fueled fires may even alter the DNA of children. Across the West, at least 50 deaths were linked to wildfires.

According to a statistical analysis done by NCEI scientists, 2020 is very likely to rank among the three-warmest years on record. September 2020 was the hottest September on the globe in 141 years of record keeping.

“Colorado’s record-breaking wildfire season was a grim glimpse into our future if we fail to take bold, immediate climate action. The relentless climate fires, drought, and temperature swings impacted every Coloradan, with Black and Brown communities facing disproportionate harm,”  said Meghan Schneider, a spokesperson for Climate Power 2020. “If we do not act now, the climate disasters we saw in 2020 will be our new normal — the consequences of which will be catastrophic.”

Below is a snapshot of the climate crisis and its toll on Colorado’s communities and across the country this year. You can see a full month-by-month list of climate events from 2020 HERE