Northern California is battling one of the worst blazes in years as the wildfire threat across the state continues to increase.
As of Tuesday morning, California broke the 1 million acres burned mark, the earliest in a fire season on record. The largest wildfire is Dixie Fire, which already burned 604,000 acres, and is the state’s largest blaze to date. The fire is only 31% contained as of 0846 local time.
A National Weather Service meteorologist in Sacramento, Emily Heller, said low humidity and high winds would help fuel wildfires through late Wednesday.
“Everything is just ready to burn,” Heller said. “We have a trough passing to the northeast, and when that happens, we get northerly winds which tend to dry out portions of our area even more.”
JTF 578 hand crews are hard at work on the Dixie Fire with our @CAL_FIRE partners. The Dixie Fire has burned over 600,000 acres and is California’s largest single wild fire. #calguard #alwaysreadyalwaysthere #DixieFire pic.twitter.com/b7BGgOPF2w
— The California National Guard (@CalGuard) August 17, 2021
Utility operator California Public Utilities Commission, PG&E, warned Monday it might have to cut power to nearly 50,000 customers to prevent additional wildfires. In July, PG&E filed documents that their equipment may have started the Dixie Fire.
Dixie has been burning for well over a month, and nearly 6,000 firefighters are battling the blaze. Damage reports already indicate 1,000 homes, businesses, and other structures have been destroyed. The damage might strain the state’s fire fund.
Taken from Hwy 395 and Painters Lane. Several homes being lost. #DixieFire
— Christian Monterrosa (@chrismatography) August 17, 2021
Across the state, firefighters are battling ten large blazes, including the Dixie Fire.
Nationally, 104 large fires have been reported in 12 states, burning more than 2.2 million acres, the National Interagency Fire Center said Tuesday.
The wildfire situation is rapidly escalating this evening across NorCal, with multiple large wildfires spreading dangerously fast, forcing new evacuations, including the #DixieFire, #MorganFire, #MonumentFire, #McFarlandFire and #CaldorFire. pic.twitter.com/LVn58dGnNe
— US StormWatch (@US_Stormwatch) August 17, 2021
California’s fire season may be a record-setting year as the megadrought and constant heatwaves continue to fuel fires.