california wildfires

Dixie Fire in Northern California Surpasses Half a Million Acres

The blaze has destroyed 550 homes and forced residents in four counties to evacuate

AP Photo/Noah Berger Flames consume a home on Highway 89 as the Dixie Fire tears through the Greenville community of Plumas County, Calif., on Wednesday, Aug. 4, 2021.

California’s largest single wildfire in recorded history continued to grow, surpassing half a million acres, while destroying nearly 550 homes and forcing evacuation orders and warnings in four counties, according to Cal Fire.

The dangerous fire is among some 100 large blazes burning Wednesday across 15 states, mostly in the West, where historic drought conditions have left lands parched and ripe for ignition.

The east end of Northern California's massive Dixie Fire flared up Tuesday as afternoon winds increased, fire officials said.

Burning through bone-dry trees, brush and grass, the fire has destroyed at least 1,027 buildings, more than half of them homes in the northern Sierra Nevada. Newly released satellite imagery showed the scale of the destruction in the small community of Greenville that was incinerated last week during an explosive run of flames.

The Dixie Fire, named after the road where it started on July 14, by Wednesday morning covered more than 501,000 acres, or 766 square miles, and was 30% contained, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. At least 14,000 remote homes were still threatened.

The burn area crosses four counties: Plumas, Butte, Lassen and Tehama, Cal Fire said.

The Dixie Fire is the largest single fire in California history and the largest currently burning in the U.S. It is about half the size of the August Complex, a series of lightning-caused 2020 fires across seven counties that were fought together and that state officials consider California’s largest wildfire overall.

AP Photo/Noah Berger
Flames from the Dixie Fire consume a home in the Indian Falls community of Plumas County, Calif., Saturday, July 24, 2021. The fire destroyed multiple residences as it tore through the area.
AP Photo/Noah Berger
Flames consume a home on Highway 89 as the Dixie Fire tears through the Greenville community of Plumas County, Calif., on Wednesday, Aug. 4, 2021.
AP Photo/Noah Berger
The Way Station bar burns as the Dixie Fire tears through the Greenville community of Plumas County, Calif., on Wednesday, Aug. 4, 2021. The fire leveled multiple historic buildings and dozens of homes in central Greenville.
AP Photo/Noah Berger
Cal Fire firefighters battle the Dixie Fire near Prattville in Plumas County, Calif., on Friday, July 23, 2021.
AP Photo/Noah Berger
Battalion Chief Sergio Mora watches as the Dixie Fire tears through the Greenville community of Plumas County, Calif., on Wednesday, Aug. 4, 2021. The fire leveled multiple historic buildings and dozens of homes in central Greenville.
AP Photo/Noah Berger
April Phillips, a Chester resident evacuated from the Dixie Fire, holds her dog Sissy Lala at a Susanville, Calif., evacuation shelter on Friday, Aug. 6, 2021.
AP Photo/Noah Berger
Jackie Armstrong, a Chester resident evacuated from the Dixie Fire, speaks with daughter Zoey Armstrong, 3, at a Susanville, Calif., evacuation shelter on Friday, Aug. 6, 2021.
AP Photo/Noah Berger
This photo shows cars and homes destroyed by the Dixie Fire line central Greenville on Thursday, Aug. 5, 2021, in Plumas County, Calif.
AP Photo/Noah Berger
This photo shows cars and homes destroyed by the Dixie Fire line central Greenville on Thursday, Aug. 5, 2021, in Plumas County, Calif.
AP Photo/Noah Berger
California Gov. Gavin Newsom walks over debris at the Greenville Post Office, which was destroyed by the Dixie Fire, on Saturday, Aug. 7, 2021, in Plumas County, Calif.
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