Firefighter Dozens of fires are battling across the West Brace for more hot, dry weather as hazardous conditions threaten to spark new wildfires in multiple states.
The Dixie Fire in Greenville, California caught fire, leaving only a few buildings left. The fire mainly broke out in most of the downtown area and some surrounding homes in the small mountain community. Pictures of the area showed an orange tinge in the sky, small patches of fire and the remains of destruction in the town.
“If you are still in the Greenville area, you are in imminent danger and you should leave now!!” The Plumas County Sheriff’s Office posted on Facebook Wednesday.
Firefighters were trying to protect the city from the fire as it infiltrated through Plumas and Bute counties by removing debris from roads and marking hazards.
The National Weather Service issued red flag warnings for parts of California, Nevada and Oregon through Thursday evening, predicting gale-force winds and low humidity that could cause dry vegetation to burn quickly.
Storms can reach 40 miles per hour in areas where humidity is single digit, which can cause fires to rapidly increase in size and intensity before first responders can contain them, the Reno, Nevada weather service, said. She said.
There are 27 major wildfires active in those three states, and across 14 states, 96 major wildfires burn more than 2,900 square miles, According to the National Interagency Fire Center.
In Northern California, the Dixie Fire remains the largest fire in the state with conditions igniting the flames. Firefighters saw activity on the east and west sides of the 395-square-mile blaze on Wednesday.
Additional evacuation orders were issued on Tuesday, affecting about 15,000 people as the flames jumped into lines in the ocean.
“I think we definitely have a few tough days ahead,” said Shannon Brother of the US Forest Service.
The fire created a pyrocumulus cloud, or “fire cloud,” on Tuesday, Mike Wink, chief of the state’s division of firefighting operations, said.
The fires have been raging since July 13, destroying 67 buildings and damaging nine more, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.
Nearly 5,000 firefighters are working on the blaze, which is 35% contained as of Wednesday.
The McFarland fire, about 150 miles west, has doubled in size every day since the lightning bolt ignited less than a week ago. The fire was only 5% contained and burned approximately 25 square miles.
Scientists said climate change has caused conditions that have led to warmer and drier weather across the West, causing wildfires to burn larger areas more intensely and more frequently.
In Oregon, the Bootleg Fire burned more than 640 square miles, the third largest fire in the state in history. Although conditions are still dry, firefighters have made progress in improving fire lines, Forest Service She saidThe fire was 84% contained. The Bootleg Fire remained the largest fire in the country as of Wednesday.
As a result, the National Weather Service issued a red flag warning for Pendleton, Oregon, on Wednesday. The warning will be in effect until 11 p.m. Thursday. The problem comes into play as thunderstorm winds can reach 40 to 50 mph and further spread the fire, According to the weather service.
In Nevada and California, the 68,000-acre Tamarack Fire is now 82% contained as of Wednesday, According to the National Interagency Fire Center. The center said people may see more smoke around the perimeter of the fire.
The fire started from a lightning bolt on July 4 and remained relatively small until high winds in mid-July caused the fire to spread across Nevada’s Alpine County. Douglas County reported 13 buildings were damaged or lost due to the Tamarack Fire. According to the National Interagency Fire Center.
In Hawaii, the biggest wildfire on the Big Island was better under control after slower winds and some rain on Tuesday.
“We’ve been surrounded by fire,” Troy Gibson, the fire incident leader, said. Honolulu Star Advertiser.
The fire burned over 62 square miles.
Contributing: Doyle Rice, USA Today; Associated Press