Dixie fire continues to ravage California- considered to be the largest fire in the state’s history.
Flames from the Dixie fire spreading though the Greenville community. Image Credit: AP Photo/Noah Berger
The Dixie Fire named after the street where it all started, is now considered to be the largest single wildfire in the state’s history. As of Friday, its size spans an area of 676 square miles (1,751 square kilometers), greater than the whole of New York City.
The fire has been burning for 23 days and forced mass evacuations. On Thursday, the fire razed the gold rush-era community of Greenville. The fire destroyed 91 buildings and damaged five others. The town of just 1,000 people lost medical offices, a museum, fire equipment and also structures significant to a Native American tribe in the fire.
This fire is so intense that I think we’re learning as a community, as a region, that this is not a normal fire. It’s a beast.Shelton Douthit, executive director of the Feather River Land Trust.
No deaths or injuries have been reported so far, but it is believed that around 10,000 homes are threatened as of Friday. Local authorities said that the fire is 35% contained and 432,813 acres had been burned as of Friday morning.
The three- week old fire is one of the many huge wildfires burning in 14 states amid a heatwave and historic drought in Western US that left most of the lands prone to ignition. Unfortunately, this is happening in other countries such as in Southern European countries with wildfires devastating several towns or cities causing mass evacuations. The constant high temperatures caused a record electricity consumption in Turkey eventually leading to blackouts in Ankara and Istanbul.
The heavy smoke produced by the fire covered central California and western Nevada, causing air quality to deteriorate. In Chester, located 20 miles from Greeville, the air quality index were more than triple the amount where hazardous levels begin. In Susanville, a resident, Randy Robbins said that ash started falling from the wildfire 6 miles from his home. He never believed that the fire would creep this close to his home, when it started around 50 miles away.
More details to follow.