UNITES STATES. California: The Dixie fire, which has been raging for three weeks near Feather River Canyon has now scorched through more than 434,813 acres since it sparked on July 13.
The Dixie fire, named for the road where it started has incinerated much of the gold rush-era town of Greenville this week, threatening more than 10,000 buildings in the northern Sierra Nevada. It has engulfed an area larger than the size of New York City.
On Friday, the Dixie fire was just 21% contained and is now considered the third-largest fire in California history and the largest current wild-land blaze in the nation, according to the state department of fire and forestry protection.
“We are seeking the public and the media’s assistance in helping us locate the individuals so we can report back to their loved ones,” they said, adding that their investigation unit has already located 16 other individuals who were previously unaccounted for.
The downtown neighbourhood of Greenville, about 150 miles northeast of Sacramento, has been hit the hardest by the rigorous fire, with Plumas County Sheriff Todd Johns saying Thursday that “well over 100 homes” and many businesses and historic buildings have been torn down by the flames.
At least 31,000 people have been evacuated.
The fire “burnt down our entire downtown. Our historical buildings, families homes, small businesses, and our children’s schools are completely lost,” Plumas County Supervisor Kevin Goss wrote on Facebook.
Weather at the fire site was expected to have higher humidity and calmer winds on Saturday with temperatures topping 90 degrees Fahrenheit instead of the 40-mph gusts and triple-digit highs recorded earlier in the week.
But the wind-driven flames tore through neighbours, within a couple hundred miles of each other, posing a continuing threat.
Heatwaves and historic drought tied to the climate crisis have only made it worse to fight wildfires in the American West.