As the Dixie fire grew overnight, it has now become the largest fire in the nation as it covered 432,813 acres overnight. On Friday morning, about 35 percent of it was contained though it has become difficult to control due to high temperatures and strong winds, according to officials. Since Thursday, the fire grew more than 97,000 acres. The fire officials said that this spread made it the third largest fire in the history of the Golden State.
This week, it burnt down the historic mountain town of Greenville which had many brick and mortar and wooden buildings standing tall from the 1800s. The entire town was charred in this strong blaze despite standing strong for centuries with all its historic structures no longer recognizable as they have been reduced to ashes.
Plumas County saw more than 100 homes destroyed. Four residents remain unaccounted for and there’s some hope that they might have reached locations with spotty service as signals are weak, according to officials. About 2000 residents from Chester have been relocated as firefighters try to divert the flames.
A heatwave across California as well as high winds are reasons for the huge growth in the wildfire, according to CalFire. It is also peak fire season, and the firefighters are hoping for conditions of humidity, so they can draw a perimeter around the blaze which is expected to continue till August 20.
Although the cause of the fire is still under official investigation, the Pacific Gas & Electric Company has said that the fire might have begun after a tree landed on one of its power lines.
As the brave firefighters are tackling the huge blaze, they are facing not just the ecological problem of climate change but also have to face residents pulling out guns on them as they don’t want to get evacuated.
The historic drought has left huge swaths of land — dry and parched. These are ideal conditions for fires to spread. An official mentioned that the timber, grass, and brush to be so dry in the locations that they were “basically near combustion.”
The American West has been facing the perils of climate change and as dry weather and droughts become more intense, so will the wildfires. However, California is not the only geographical region that is currently experiencing wildfires. On Friday, Turkey and Greece also saw thousands been evacuated as wildfires spread across these countries.
RT @LauraHaefeli: Update. @Pedrorivera @CAL_FIRE #dixiefire
– 91 structures destroyed.
– 432,000 + acres
– 110,000 acres in 24 hours
– 3rd largest fire in #California history.@CBSSacramento pic.twitter.com/8G08HfuCPS
— Clara Quinteros (@ClaraQuinteros4) August 7, 2021