After burning for almost three weeks in remote mountain areas, California’s largest wildfire has erupted again. Officials warned Tuesday that dry and hot weather could increase the likelihood of new fires throughout the state.
Firefighters saved the homes of residents in Greenville, a small community in northern California, Monday after strong winds caused the Dixie Fire to grow to more than 395 square miles (1 024 km) across Plumas, Butte and Plumas counties.
Cal Fire reported Tuesday morning that engines, crews, and heavy equipment moved from other areas in order to provide structure protection and direct line construction as fire moved towards Greenville.
Evacuations were ordered to evacuate the approximately 1,000-strong community and the East shore of Lake Almanor, which is a popular resort area. The blaze, which has destroyed 67 homes and other buildings in the area since July 14, threatened approximately 3,000 homes. It was contained to 35%.
Cal Fire stated that crews faced dry, hot, and windy conditions.
Similar weather was forecast across Southern California. Heat advisories and warnings were issued in the interior valleys, mountains, and deserts for most of the week.
Wildfires in the American West are now more difficult to combat due to heat waves and droughts that have been linked to climate change. Climate change, according to scientists, has caused the region to become warmer and dryer over the past 30 year. This will make it more difficult for wildfires to be controlled and more destructive.
The National Interagency Fire Center reported that more than 20,000 firefighters and other support personnel were fighting 97 active wildfires, covering 2,919 sq miles (7,560 km) in 13 U.S. States on Tuesday.
On Tuesday, in Hawaii, dangerous fire conditions were again created by powerful winds and dry conditions.
Firefighters gained control over the 62-square-mile (160-square-kilometer) Nation Fire that forced thousands of people to evacuate over the weekend and destroyed at least two homes on the Big Island.
The McFarland Fire, which was sparked by lightning and located 150 miles (240km) west of California’s Dixie Fire, threatened remote homes along Shasta-Trinity National Forest’s Trinity River. Tuesday saw a 5% containment of the fire that engulfed a total area of 25 miles (65 square miles).
Officials said Monday that lightning struck the parched forests of southern Oregon hundreds of times within a 24-hour-period. This ignited 50 new wildfires, making it the largest fire in the country. The blaze was less than 100 miles (161 km) away.
The new fires were quickly controlled by firefighters and aircraft. There were no immediate threats to homes.
The nation’s largest fire, Oregon’s Bootleg Fire at 647 sq miles (1,676 km), was 84% contained. It is not expected that it will be completely under control until October 1.