Dixie Fire Threatens Towns in Northern California

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U.S.|The Dixie occurrence threatens towns successful the Sierra Nevada foothills.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/08/17/us/dixie-fire-updates-janesville-susanville.html

Firefighters moving   to support   a location  from the Dixie occurrence  aft  it reached Janesville, Calif. connected  Monday.
Credit...Christian Monterrosa for The New York Times

Mike Ives

  • Aug. 17, 2021, 7:55 a.m. ET

The Dixie fire, the second-largest successful California’s recorded history, was wheeling connected Tuesday greeting toward 1 of the biggest municipality targets successful its path: The metropolis of Susanville, colonisation 15,000.

The erstwhile logging and mining municipality is the spot of Lassen County, and 1 of respective places successful the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains wherever the authorities issued evacuation orders oregon warnings connected Monday. Officials successful Northern California expect the occurrence information to stay exceptionally precocious implicit the adjacent fewer days amid precocious winds, debased humidity and triple-digit temperatures.

One of the places being evacuated connected Monday evening was the country successful and astir Janesville, astir 12 miles southeast of Susanville. Journalists posted pictures and videos showing flames successful the nighttime entity a fewer miles from Janesville.

Afternoon upwind gusts of up to 30 miles per hr connected Monday pushed the occurrence wrong a fewer miles of Susanville, The Associated Press reported connected Monday. The city’s constabulary section asked residents to beryllium acceptable to evacuate.

“Fire behaviour is unpredictable and we simply don’t cognize however it volition progress,” the Lassen County Sheriff’s office said successful a Facebook station connected Monday evening.

The Dixie occurrence is 1 of astatine slightest six ample blazes successful Northern California. It began much than a period agone and has truthful acold burned an country astir three-quarters the size of Rhode Island. As of Monday it had dispersed to much than 600,000 acres crossed 4 counties, according to a New York Times wildfire tracker.

But the occurrence was lone 31 percent contained — the aforesaid arsenic it had been 24 hours earlier.

“There was a batch of occurrence enactment today, unfortunately, for our resources and the radical that unrecorded retired here,” Jake Cagle, an authoritative with the California Interagency Incident Management Team, said successful a briefing connected Monday evening, referring to an country westbound of Susanville. He said that precocious winds successful the country had been expected to commencement dying down astir midnight but that “critical occurrence weather” would persist into Tuesday.

To the west, the McFarland occurrence had burned 69,000 acres arsenic of Monday nighttime and was 51 percent contained, according to the Times wildfire tracker. The Shasta County Sheriff’s Office issued a mandatory evacuation bid connected Monday for Platina Township, a assemblage of astir 200 radical northbound of Mendocino National Forest that is threatened by the fire.

And the Monument fire, further northwest, “challenged firefighters with important occurrence activity” connected Monday, forestry officials astatine the Shasta-Trinity National Forest said successful a statement. That occurrence had burned 102,883 acres and was lone 10 percent contained.

Pacific Gas & Electric, the California utility, has said that it mightiness person to unopen disconnected powerfulness for 48,000 customers successful 18 of the state’s counties connected Tuesday evening, including successful the Sierra Nevada foothills, to forestall powerfulness lines from starting wildfires.

The origin of the Dixie occurrence remains nether investigation. In July, PG&E said blown fuses connected 1 of its inferior poles whitethorn person sparked it.

The Dixie occurrence is 1 of astir 100 wildfires crossed the West that person forced the U.S. Forest Service to deploy astir 21,000 national firefighters successful states parched by drought and scorching temperatures this summer, much than treble the fig deployed astatine this clip a twelvemonth ago.

The maturation of fires has continued this week adjacent arsenic the Bootleg fire, which had ravaged much 400,000 acres of confederate Oregon since aboriginal July, was afloat contained implicit the weekend.

Although wildfires hap passim the West each year, scientists spot the power of clime alteration successful the utmost vigor waves that person contributed to the strength of fires this summer. Prolonged periods of abnormally precocious temperatures are a awesome of a shifting climate, they say.

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