Monday, August 9, 2021

California’s Dixie Fire now second-largest in state history | Al Jazeera

The still-raging Dixie Fire in northern California is now the second-largest in the state’s history, officials said on Sunday, days after the blaze destroyed an historic town and forced the evacuation of thousands of people from the area.

California fire authorities said in a Sunday morning update that the wildfire now spanned 187,562 hectares (463,477 acres) and remained only 21 percent contained, but that favourable conditions would allow crews to battle the flames.

“Fire activity is expected to decrease through the morning hours. Smoke shading from fires in the region will reduce fire intensity, increasing the potential for crews to make headway on building containment lines,” officials said in a statement (PDF).

At least 404 structures have been destroyed by the fire so far, the statement also said, while more than 13,800 others are under threat.

Only the August Complex Fire, which consumed more than 404,700 hectares (1 million acres) in California in August of last year, was bigger.

Heatwaves and historic drought tied to climate change have made wildfires harder to fight in the western United States.


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