The Dixie Fire has now reached an incredibly depressing milestone.
The California wildfire has been burning for about 23 days now. In the process, there are currently mass evacuations in Northern California, damage to property and structures, unhealthy smoke index levels, and acres of outright destruction.
Dixie Fire Destruction
According to The Weather Channel, the Dixie Fire is now the largest single wildfire in state history. It has left 39% of Plumas County under evacuation orders as families flee the area.
The raging wildfire has burnt through Butte, Plumas, Lassen, and Tehama counties. In the process, it has also burnt over 482,047 acres. There have also been 873 structures destroyed, but there are not currently any deaths reported in connection to the fire.
Small towns such as Greenville and Canyondom are now ash with relatively nothing remaining.
According to KTVU, the fire was at 22% containment on Monday evening. The firefighters diligently working on putting out the fire lost some containment, seeing as the fire was once at 35% containment. The fire jumped containment lines last week. There are four people missing and four firefighters with injuries after a tree branch fell on them.
The Dixie Fire’s cause is under ongoing investigation, seeing as some people believe a Pacific Gas & Electric utility said a tree hitting one of its power lines may have sparked the fire. However, the Dixie Fire is one of many fires that are lighting up the West.
Climate change has fostered a massive increase in the appearance of fires. The above-average temperatures, humidity, and drought are causing these fires to spread quickly while also being incredibly difficult to put out.
Raging Fires and Hazardous Air Quality
According to ABC News, the West has about 100 fires burning — from Northern California to parts of Montana. Some of the other fires include the River Fire, McFarland Fire, and the Bootleg Fire. Meanwhile, the effects of the fires are evident across the nation.
IQ Air reported that Denver had the worst air quality ranking in the entire world on Saturday afternoon. These adverse air conditions are being seen thousands of miles away from the actual location of the fires as well. There are air quality alerts in place for nine different states as of now.
The only California wildfire that is larger than the Dixie Fire is the August Complex Fire from last year. This fire burned about 1 million acres during its path of destruction. This is known as a “complex fire” because it had been made up of many lightning-sparked blazes. The Dixie Fire has surpassed the 379,895 acres that the Creek Fire scorched last year in the central agricultural region of the state.
As of now, there are more than 5,800 people battling the fire, and the fire isn’t going to reach full containment until around August 20.
“I have no doubt in my mind that it’s just getting started,” Matt Sanders, a fire engine captain, told The New York Times.