The fires originating in the towns of Dixie and Tamarack continue their path of destruction through the north of the State of California. The fire has forced 2,300 people from their homes to evacuate in recent hours and threatens to consume between 7,000 and 10,400 buildings in four counties. The situation has forced the governor, Gavin Newsom, to declare a state of alarm in order to obtain more resources to fight these fires. The fire has arrived earlier than usual in this time of year in the region and has been aggravated by the high temperatures recorded in recent weeks and by the severe drought that affects the western United States.
The Dixie fire has been active for 11 days and has become the main threat to the State, consuming more than 73,000 hectares. Most of the affected area is unpopulated and difficult to access, which has made the work of the fire brigades difficult, which has only managed to contain it by 20%. However, it has destroyed a dozen homes and its flames threaten to surround another 7,000 homes in Butte, Plumas and Lassie counties, according to authorities. The biggest concern is that Dixie is approaching the west shore of Lake Almanor, a very popular area for camping enthusiasts in the region, which has already been evacuated but has many buildings. There are no fatalities at the moment.
The weather conditions on Friday and Saturday, which brought less wind, allowed firefighters fighting the fire that started on July 4 in Tamarack to gain ground, which so far has affected an area of 26,000 hectares. The respite offered by the wind allowed the fire, which is approaching the border with Nevada, to go from being controlled by just 4% on Friday to 27% on Sunday morning, according to official reports from the United States Forest Service. . Optimism is contained, however, as the forecast indicated strong gusts of wind and thunderstorms for this Sunday that could erase the progress made in recent hours.
The extinction efforts allowed authorities to lift the evacuation order for the Mesa Vista community, of just over 200 people. This puts at the moment 2,290 the calculation of the inhabitants who have had to leave their homes to stay in the shelters set up in the area. This may change in the next few hours, as the 1,400 firefighters use the truce of the wind to advance in the construction of a firebreak that allows to stop the unpredictable path of the flames. “The fuel [los campos] it was very dry at the beginning of the season, which makes the behavior of the fire more erratic, “said spokesman Mitch Matlow, who said that the dry conditions of the grasses and vegetation in the area are more typical” of late autumn. ”.
More than 85 wildfires are active this weekend across the United States, most of them in the west of the country. As of this Sunday morning, they had destroyed 553,000 hectares.