Dixie Fire Is Now Second Largest in California History

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The occurrence blazing crossed Northern California has burned much than 463,000 acres.

Numerous homes on  North Valley Road were burned to the crushed  during the Dixie occurrence  successful  Greenville, Calif., connected  Saturday.
Credit...Jungho Kim for The New York Times

Livia Albeck-RipkaMelina Delkic

Aug. 8, 2021, 6:49 p.m. ET

TAYLORSVILLE, Calif. — The Dixie occurrence ravaging Northern California implicit the play has go the state’s 2nd largest connected record.

Cal Fire, the authorities firefighting agency, connected Sunday reported that the blaze, which has burned for 25 days, had burned much than 463,000 acres. Butte, Lassen, Plumas and Tehama Counties were devastated, including the Lassen Volcanic National Park, which is known for exotic hydrothermal sites. So far, determination person been nary deaths reported, and thousands of radical person evacuated.

“Were astatine the mercy of the winds,” said Dan Kearns, a unpaid firefighter successful Taylorsville, Calif., wherever those who had not evacuated ate meal unneurotic connected Sunday greeting arsenic their supplies, state and nutrient ran out. He and different residents said they could not permission their livestock, pets and onshore behind.

But everyone was alert of however unsafe the concern remained.

“It took 2 days to travel into Greenville,” helium said of occurrence that mostly destroyed the municipality of 1,000 radical past week. “Now, Greenville is gone.”

Conditions improved somewhat successful caller days. “We person favorable temperatures close now, comparatively debased winds but connected the ridgetops,” said Mark Beveridge, a nationalist accusation serviceman with Cal Fire. But firefighters inactive faced respective challenges.

Heavy fume settled straight implicit the eastbound portion of the fire, making it intolerable for craft to alert successful those areas. Weather earlier and during the fire, including a historical drought and beardown winds, whitethorn person affected the flames.

“When you’re speaking of a occurrence of this magnitude, successful the country that it’s in, combined with the heat, the terrain is ever a factor,” Mr. Beveridge said. “There are immoderate precise rugged, precise steep sloped hills that we’re trying to aggressively combat occurrence in.”

He said responders had seen “erratic occurrence behavior.” Comparing the magnitude of the Dixie occurrence with that of the Camp occurrence of 2018, helium said, “these fires are precise hard to control, they’re precise hard to contain, and it has aggregate factors down it.”

The Dixie occurrence is surpassed lone by the August Complex fire, which started successful August 2020 and burned much than 1 cardinal acres, officials said. Most of the state’s 20 worst wildfires by acres person taken spot implicit the past 2 decades, according to Cal Fire.

The Dixie occurrence whitethorn person been started by a histrion that fell down connected a powerfulness enactment owned by Pacific Gas and Electric, California’s largest utility.

Elizabeth Ehrenpreis spent her 33rd day fleeing the fire’s encroach toward Westwood, Calif., a tiny municipality of little than 2,000 adjacent Lassen Volcanic National Park. She near location earlier the authoritative evacuation order, aft seeing the section fire main urge connected Facebook that radical leave.

She headed to Susanville, wherever a structure had been acceptable up. She said she was among the archetypal to arrive, but rapidly noticed signs of the occurrence coming that way, too.

“Over the people of fractional an hr the entity went to being nighttime dark,” she said, adjacent though it was midafternoon. “The winds picked up ace heavy, terrifying. I conscionable had that feeling — my assemblage was like, Get retired of present close now.”

She packed up 4 cats and headed southbound to Sacramento, taking a roundabout way due to the fact that of blocked roads.

Many different residents person been stubborn successful their resoluteness to enactment put, causing headaches for firefighters. It is hard to foretell however upwind systems volition impact the fires, but it is imaginable that beardown winds volition impact the country successful the coming days.

Ms. Ehrenpreis has ever lived connected the West Coast, she said, but has ne'er experienced a wildfire firsthand. She is successful Sacramento now, without a consciousness of however agelong she volition person to stay. “I’m conscionable benignant of waiting present to spot what happens,” she said.

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Credit...Maranie R. Staab/Getty Images

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Credit...Jungho Kim for The New York Times
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