Dixie Fire destroys 16 structures in California; Bootleg Fire 46% contained

The 190,625-acre Dixie Fire in California has destroyed 16 structures while threatening 10,700 more in Butte and Plumas Counties, officials said Sunday. Photo courtesy InciWeb

July 26 (UPI) — California’s Dixie Fire has destroyed 16 structures throughout the state as multiple wildfires continue to burn on the West Coast, fire officials said Sunday.

More than 10,700 structures in Butte and Plumas Counties remain threatened by the Dixie Fire, the largest active blaze in California, as it has grown to 190,625 acres and is just 21% contained, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

The blaze remained active overnight on Saturday as it crossed Highway 70 and Highway 89, prompting firefighters to engage in structure protection in the nearby communities of Paxton and Indian Falls.

Officials have deployed 5,022 fire personnel to combat the fire, but weather conditions have made efforts difficult, with “extreme fire behavior” forecast for Sunday.

“Atmospheric conditions are less stable and therefore large pyrocumulus clouds are expected to develop over the fire increasing the potential for spot fires and rapid fire growth,” the U.S. Forest Service said in an update.

The Tamarack Fire burning on the border between California and Nevada has burned 66,744 acres and is 27% contained, according to InciWeb.

Officials said firefighters have been able to “directly engage the edge of the fire on several fronts” for two consecutive days due to favorable weather conditions but added that smoke from the Dixie Fire has moved in the area and will affect visibility and air quality over the weekend.

Firefighters in Oregon worked to improve containment on the Bootleg Fire, the largest active blaze in the United States, increasing containment to 46% as the blaze has burned 408,930 acres.

“The progress that we have made is due to the continuous, vigilant work by our crews, said Joel Hessel, incident commander for the Oregon Department of Forestry Incident Management Team said. “Severe fire weather conditions and extremely dry fuels continue to challenge us on this fire.”

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown on Sunday told CNN’s State of the Union that the Biden administration “has stepped up” its effort to assist the state in combatting and preventing fires as well as climate change.

“It is incredibly important, with climate change, that we get into these forests and start doing the thinning and harvest and prescriptive burning, so that we can create healthier landscapes, landscapes that are more resilient to wildfire,” said Brown.


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