39% of Plumas, California residents are under evacuation orders as officials fight the second largest fire in state history
Plumas is one of four counties, along with Butte, Lassen and Tehama, under the intense glow of the Dixie Fire, which has been burning for 25 days and increased in activity Sunday amid hot, dry and windy conditions, according to the Department. California Fire and Forestry Department, Cal Fire.
“We have a great responsibility to rebuild this community,” said California Governor Gavin Newsom while visiting the city of Greenville, which was devastated by the fire last week. “But also address the intensity of what is happening globally, but is manifesting overwhelmingly here in California, and that is climate change.”
Greenville, in Plumas County, was almost level when the fire swept through it. Almost every business in the city’s commercial center appeared to have collapsed or destroyed, with flames still flickering through the rubble, according to video recorded Wednesday by storm chaser Brandon Clement.
As of Sunday, no deaths were reported in connection with the fire, but four people are missing, according to the Plumas County Sheriff’s Office.
The Dixie Fire is one of 11 wildfires burning in California. Across the country on Sunday, there were 107 major wildfires in 15 states, while nearly 900,000 acres burned, according to an update from the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC).
Lingering heat could challenge firefighting efforts
For the 8,500 firefighters fighting the flames that have burned more than 200,000 acres, according to Cal Fire, conditions are not expected to improve anytime soon.
A large area of the northwestern United States and parts of northern California are under an excessive heat watch. And while areas affected by the fire are not yet part of those warnings, they are likely to see a marked warming trend in the coming days, CNN meteorologist Pedram Javaheri said.
“The heat is expected to continue this weekend, which will make firefighting efforts much more challenging,” Javaheri said. “Some moisture could seep into the region and cause a small possibility of some electrical storms in the Sierra Alta. Unfortunately, these thunderstorms can do more harm than help. “
The cause of the Dixie fire is still under investigation, authorities said. The fire is currently 21% contained, according to Cal Fire.
The Dixie Fire overtook the Mendocino Fire, which burned more than 200,000 acres in several Northern California counties, in 2018, to become second only to the August fire, which devastated Northern California in August 2020. and burned more than 400,000 hectares.
In neighboring Oregon, there are 16 fires, while Montana and Idaho have the most of any state in the United States, with 25 and 20 respectively, according to NFIC.
Due to thick smoke from the wildfires, IQAir, a Swiss air quality technology company, determined that Denver’s air was the most polluted of any city in the world , early Saturday, with an air quality index out of 167. The measurement is by US standards, where a higher number indicates poorer air quality.
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