The enormous Dixie wildfire in California is now the largest such fire on record and it’s leaving a trail of destruction in its wake, scorching an area that’s said to be more than twice as large as New York City.
Officials say almost 900 homes have been destroyed by thefire since it began in mid-July, including almost all of the homes in the history Gold Rush town of Greenville.
Firefighters said early this week that the Dixie Fire is about 25% contained. However, blazing hot temperatures this week threaten to cause more havoc by drying out areas near to the fire that could serve as fuel for the flames.
Several thousand California residents have been forced to abandon their homes in the wake of Dixie, which has so far burned through hundreds of thousands of acres of land. Officials say it has destroyed 893 homes and 16,000 structures overall, according to USA Today. It’s also threatening another 14,000 buildings in several small mountain and rural communities in the Sierra Nevada, NBC News reported.
“We don’t know where this fire is going to end and where it’s going to land,” Chris Carlton, supervisor for Plumas National Forest, told NBC News. “It continues to challenge us.” The cause of the fire continues to be investigated.
California Governor Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency on Tuesday in the northern counties of Shasta, Tehama, and Trinity.
About 100 large wildfires are burning across 15 states, mostly in the West, due to heat waves and drought conditions, USA Today reports.
California’s wildfire season is on track to be the worst in its history, a record that had just been set last year.