California Wildfires

Flames from the Dixie Fire consume a home Saturday in the Indian Falls community of Plumas County, Calif. The fire destroyed multiple residences as it tore through the area.

INDIAN FALLS, Calif. — California’s largest wildfire merged with a smaller blaze and destroyed homes in remote areas with limited access for firefighters, as numerous other fires gained strength and threatened property across the US West.

The massive Dixie Fire, which started July 14, had already leveled over a dozen houses and other structures when it combined with the Fly Fire and tore through the tiny Northern California community of Indian Falls after dark Saturday.

An updated damage estimate was not available Sunday, though fire officials said the blaze had charred nearly 298 square miles acres of timber and brush in Plumas and Butte counties. It was 21% contained.

Firefighters carrying hand tools were forced to hike through rugged terrain where engines can’t go, said Rick Carhart, spokesman for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

“It has been burning in extremely steep canyons, some places where it is almost impossible for human beings to set foot on the ground to get in there,” he said. “It’s going to be a long haul.”

Still, crews made progress Saturday by proactively setting fires to rob the main blaze of fuels, Carhart said.

The fire prompted evacuation orders in several small mountain communities and along the west shore of Lake Almanor, a popular resort area. About 10,000 homes remained under threat, officials said.

Firefighters also reported progress against the nation’s largest wildfire, the Bootleg Fire in southern Oregon, containing 46% of the blaze that had consumed nearly 640 square miles.

More than 2,200 firefighters battled the blaze, focusing Sunday on constructing containment lines at the north and eastern edges in dense timber. Crews could get a break from rain and higher humidity predicted for this week, said Marcus Kauffman, spokesman for the Oregon Department of Forestry.

The lightning-caused fire has burned 67 homes, mainly cabins, and at least 2,000 houses were under evacuation orders.

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown told CNN’s “State of the Union” that it’s imperative federal and state authorities invest in mitigation such as tree thinning and preventive burns to limit the number of similar massive blazes. But she conceded that “the harsh reality is that we’re going to see more of these wildfires.”

(1) comment

Jimzan

Blame Gavin Newsom for these fires "not" global warming. Newsom has failed when it comes to forestry management...I know he was trying to do the right thing (like most Dem intentions) he was worried about the forests being over harvested...look how many trees are being destroyed now....10X the amount that anyone could have over harvested in 5 years. Newsom has changed his forestry management strategy...but a little too late. Most Dems will let the ship sink and never do a change up...until it's too late.

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