California’s Dixie Fireplace is now the second largest within the state’s historical past: NPR

A burned apartment building is covered in thick smoke Friday after being burned by the Dixie Fire in Greenville, California. The fire is now the second largest in the recorded history of the state. Josh Edelson / AFP via Getty Images Hide caption

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Josh Edelson / AFP via Getty Images

A burned apartment building is covered in thick smoke Friday after being burned by the Dixie Fire in Greenville, California. The fire is now the second largest in the recorded history of the state.

Josh Edelson / AFP via Getty Images

The Northern California Dixie Fire, which destroyed hundreds of buildings and entire communities, is now considered the second largest recorded forest fire in the state’s history.

The fire, which stretches across the counties of Butte, Plumas, Lassen and Tehama, has so far burned more than 463,000 hectares and is 21% contained, according to CalFire.

In terms of total area burned, the Dixie Fire outperformed the 2018 Mendocino Complex fire (459,123 acres) and last year’s SCU Lightning Complex fire (396,624 acres), according to CalFire. With over 1 million acres burned in 2020, the August Complex Fire is the only recorded forest fire in California that consumed more land than the Dixie Fire.

The Dixie Fire had first lit around July 13th and burned in mostly remote areas. But the situation changed on Wednesday when winds quickly sent flames towards communities near Lake Almanor, a popular vacation spot surrounded by small towns.

In the past few days, the fire has devastated most of Greenville and Canyondam’s communities – threatening nearly 14,000 buildings. CalFire said three firefighters were injured fighting the flames, although no deaths were reported.

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While conditions in the Sierra Mountains have improved, Plumas County Sheriff Todd Johns said Saturday that the situation continues to be somewhat unpredictable.

“As with many forest fires, we saw erratic behavior with the Dixie Fire,” Johns told reporters. “The weather has played along in the last few days, but that could change – and we’re certainly not quite clear yet.”

Four people were missing in Plumas County on Sunday morning.

Teresa Hatch, the fourth generation of Greenville’s family, had been evacuated, returned home, and then pressured to leave.

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“Where do you start over?” Hatch told ABC News in tears. “Look at all of these people who are out of place now. Where are they going?”

Climate research has found that higher average temperatures increase the length of the fire season and the number of places where fires can start. California Fire Department officials are reporting more than a dozen active forest fires across the state, with more than 100 forest fires burning in the western United States

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