The Dixie Wildfire continues to ravage hundreds of thousands of acres, fueled by strong winds and bone-dry vegetation in Northern California. The wildfire has become the third-largest in California history, and the largest in the US as more than a hundred large fires burn.
Dixie incinerated more than 447,000 acres as of Saturday night, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE). The fire is only 21% contained.
The wildfire’s cause is under investigation. Bloomberg said Thursday utility giant PG&E Corp.’s power lines might have played a part in sparking the fire. On Friday, a federal judge ordered PG&E to provide details about the equipment and where the fire began.
Dozens of building structures were destroyed in the gold rush-era town of Greenville on Wednesday and Thursday.
Heat waves and a historic megadrought have transformed much of the American West into a tinder box. Dixie has become the third-largest fire in recorded California history and is the largest active fire in the US.
Smoke from the wildfires is spreading across the country.
The National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC) reports “107 large fires have burned 2,179,454 acres” in 14 western states.
NIFC provides a grim weather forecast for the western US, stating, “the fire outlook continues to reflect warmer and drier conditions leading to the high potential for severe wildfire activity throughout the western United States through the rest of summer and into the fall.”
The US Drought Monitor continues to show severe conditions across the western half of the US.
California’s fire season could surpass last year’s season, the worst fire season in state history.
None of this should be surprising since California’s top fire officials were warning months ago that the worst wildfire season on record was quickly approaching.