The fire, which broke out on the Placer County side of the fire, is spreading faster than previously believed. It has already burned more than 100,000 acres, and officials say it is only a matter of time before it reaches the Sacramento Valley.
As the Dixie Fire continues to incinerate the California region, which has burned a total of two million acres since it started, some residents are still staying put. The fire has destroyed more than 1,000 structures, including many historic properties, and has been blamed for at least one death. But while many have fled the area, others are staying put, even though a mandatory evacuation order was issued by Cal Fire officials.
When last we met, the Dixie Fire was a blaze that was forcing hundreds from their homes in the foothills outside of Los Angeles, California. At the time, the fire had already burned over 75,000 acres and was growing uncontrollably. Since the fire started, the threat to nearby communities had become more and more grave.
On Sunday, volunteers hauled supplies to a fire station in Taylorsville, Calif. Credit: David Odisho/Getty Images
Efforts to prevent tinder dry land, communities, and homes from being burned by the Dixie Fire, which ravaged Northern California over the weekend and became the state’s second biggest on record, have been hampered by people who aren’t obeying one order: leave.
According to The New York Times wildfire tracker, the fire had burnt almost 490,000 acres and was 21 percent controlled as of Sunday night.
The fire began in mid-July, perhaps due to a tree falling into a Pacific Gas and Electric power line. It has burned about 600 buildings in four counties, including a significant section of Greenville, a historic village of approximately 1,000 people. There are a few individuals missing, but no fatalities have been recorded.
On Saturday, Governor Gavin Newsom visited Greenville and pledged to assist locals in their recovery. He added, “Our hearts bleed for this community.”
I spent the day in Greenville, assessing the damage caused by the #DixieFire and talking about the continuing firefighting operations.
The post office is now completely defunct.
This place breaks our hearts.
Greenville, we’ll be there to help you rebuild, even if this moment seems impossible. pic.twitter.com/Zb0JualbR3
August 8, 2021 — Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom)
Susan Doran and her boyfriend, Pete Neer, live in Taylorsville, about 10 miles southeast of Greenville, and have assessed the dangers and decided to remain. Ms. Doran said over the weekend, “I’m not leaving.”
The two said that they were unable to leave their animals. Mr. Neer said, “I’m not afraid.” “These flames will never be able to reach me.”
However, officials and firemen, who are working long hours to attempt to put out the fire, warn that individuals who remain behind make their job much more difficult.
On Friday, Jeff Gillette, a fireman and spokesperson for the Dixie Fire, stated, “We have to go in and rescue those folks.” “It reminds me of Greenville.”
The Plumas County Sheriff’s Office reminded people who had evacuated on Sunday that “while they are understandably eager to get back to their homes and properties, the Dixie Fire is still active, and the public must remain out of evacuation order zones until they are downgraded to warnings or lifted.”
Strong winds may impact the region in the next days, making it difficult to anticipate how weather systems may effect the flames. The National Weather Service forecasts warmer temperatures in the region for the rest of the week, with a moderate heat danger. Excessive heat warnings are in effect for parts of southern Oregon and northern California, including the Shasta and Klamath River Valleys north of the fire, from Tuesday afternoon through Saturday evening. Highs of 112 degrees are expected, with nighttime lows in the high 60s to mid-70s.
Low relative humidity and strong southwest winds, officials warned Sunday evening, had exacerbated fire activity. Drought conditions were severe in the area.
“The topography is always a concern when you’re talking about a fire of this size, in the region that it’s in, coupled with the heat,” said Mark Beveridge, a public information officer with Cal Fire. “We’re attempting to actively battle fire in some extremely difficult, very steeply inclined hills.”
Mr. Beveridge said firefighters had witnessed “erratic fire behavior,” comparing the Dixie Fire to the Camp Fire in 2018. “These flames are extremely hard to manage, very hard to contain, and it has many causes behind it,” he added.
Only the August Complex Fire, which began in August 2020 and burnt over one million acres, is larger than the Dixie Fire, according to authorities. According to Cal Fire, the majority of the state’s 20 worst wildfires by acres occurred in the last two decades.
Last month in Madera, Calif., a boat sat on a hill near Hensley Lake as rising temperatures and dryness continued to damage cattle and water supplies.Credit…David Swanson/Reuters
Nations have put off reducing their fossil-fuel emissions for so long that they will be unable to prevent global warming from worsening over the next 30 years, according to a major new UN scientific study, but there is still time to avoid the most dire consequences.
Since the 19th century, humans have warmed the globe by around 1.1 degrees Celsius, or 2 degrees Fahrenheit, mostly through burning coal, oil, and gas for energy. Heat waves have killed hundreds of people in the United States and Canada this summer alone, floods have ravaged Germany and China, and flames have burned out of control in Siberia, Turkey, and Greece.
But, according to a study released on Monday by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a group of experts assembled by the United Nations, that’s only the beginning. Even if countries began drastically reducing emissions today, overall global warming is expected to increase by 1.5 degrees Celsius in the following two decades, implying a hotter future.
Scientists have shown that the risks increase dramatically as the temperature rises by 1.5 degrees Celsius. More frequent life-threatening heat waves may affect almost 1 billion people across the globe. Droughts would put hundreds of millions of people at danger of running out of water. Some animal and plant species that are now living will go extinct. Coral reefs, which support huge swathes of the world’s fisheries, will experience more frequent mass extinctions.
“Over the next 20 or 30 years, we can anticipate a substantial increase in severe weather,” said Piers Forster, a climate scientist at the University of Leeds and one of hundreds of worldwide experts who contributed to the study. “Unfortunately, things are likely to deteriorate worse than they are now.”
On Sunday, the island was hit by the brunt of the flames, with northern communities still being evacuated.CreditCredit…Alexandros Avramidis/Reuters
ATHENS — Massive flames burned in various areas of Greece for a sixth day on Sunday, displacing thousands more people and razing large swaths of forestland, with even more nations stepping in to assist the Greek firefighting effort.
Wildfires raged in neighboring Turkey, where at least eight people have died, as well as in other areas of Europe, where a prolonged heat wave and dryness has produced tinderbox conditions.
The Greek government ordered the evacuation of four additional communities in northern Evia, an island northeast of Athens, on Sunday morning, but many people remained in a desperate attempt to preserve their homes. Residents and firemen used water hoses and tree branches to attempt to put out the spreading flames, as shown on state television.
On Sunday, hundreds more people were evacuated from Evia by boat, with broadcast pictures showing huge clouds of gray smoke hovering over the island, obscuring the sun. Residents and tourists were evacuated to safety by Coast Guard boats that remained on standby. Bulldozers were also being employed to construct firebreaks on the edges of dense woods, in the hopes of preventing the flames from engulfing them.
Multiple fires fuelled by the record-breaking heat wave have forced the Greek government to seek firefighting assistance from a number of nations. Several countries have already sent planes and firemen, including Croatia, Cyprus, France, Israel, Romania, Spain, Sweden, and the United States. Many countries, like the United Kingdom, Germany, Poland, and Qatar, sent assistance as well.
A aircraft dumped water in the hamlet of Ellinika on the Greek island of Evia on Sunday. Credit: Alexandros Avramidis/Reuters
The worst of the fires were on Evia, Greece’s second biggest island, which has seen vast swaths of virgin pine woods turned to ash, and on the southern Peloponnese peninsula, where ancient Olympia, the home of the Olympic Games, was threatened by flames this week.
A huge fire that started north of Athens on Tuesday and spread over multiple fronts, destroying hundreds of acres of forest, was put out early Sunday, but firefighters remained on standby in case it flared up again.
The General Secretariat for Civil Protection in Greece has issued a warning that the fire danger would persist for many days. Central Greece is predicted to reach 41 degrees Celsius on Monday, which is almost 106 degrees Fahrenheit.
On Saturday, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis promised that victims of Greece’s fires would be paid and that damaged forestland would be restored once “this nightmare summer” was through. He emphasized that the immediate goal was to preserve human lives and, if possible, property.
A volunteer fireman from Ippokrateios Politeia, a town north of Athens devastated by the flames, died of head injuries after being struck by a collapsing electrical pylon on Friday.
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