(Reuters) – A raging wildfire in northern California, now the second-largest recorded in state historical past, expanded to just about 500,000 acres late on Sunday and has left three firefighters injured.
The Dixie Hearth, burning northeast of San Francisco, had grown to 489,287 acres or 764.5 sq. miles (1,980 sq. kilometers) from about 274,000 acres in the course of final week, the California Division of Forestry and Hearth Safety mentioned on Twitter https://bit.ly/3AmGS4Q.
The blaze has been energetic for 26 days and is 21% contained, the division mentioned https://bit.ly/3jBEGQn. The burned space is in regards to the measurement of Cancun in Mexico, and bigger than town of Houston in Texas.
Hearth exercise intensified on Sunday amid low relative humidity and powerful southwest winds within the West Zone, and heat temperatures and low humidity within the East Zone, the division mentioned, including it has unfold throughout 4 counties.
Greater than 5,000 firefighters are at present tackling the Dixie Hearth.
“We’re seeing fireplace exercise that even veteran firefighters have not seen of their profession,” Edwin Zuniga, a spokesman for the California Division of Forestry and Hearth Safety, advised the Washington Submit.
Solely the August Complicated Hearth of 2020 in California, which consumed greater than 1 million acres, was greater.
So far, no deaths have been attributed to the wildfire. Nevertheless, the blaze has broken 42 residential, business and different buildings and destroyed 627 such buildings, in response to the California Division of Forestry and Hearth Safety.
The Plumas County Sheriff’s Workplace (PCSO) issued new evacuation orders on Sunday afternoon after the unfold of the Dixie Hearth.
California usually experiences peak fireplace season later within the 12 months. The state was on tempo to undergo much more burnt acreage this 12 months than final 12 months, which was the worst fireplace season on document.
The reason for the fireplace stays underneath investigation. Pacific Gasoline & Electrical has mentioned it could have began when a tree fell on one of many utility’s energy traces.
A federal decide late on Friday ordered Pacific Gasoline & Electrical to clarify the utility firm’s position in beginning the fireplace. U.S. District Choose William Alsup mentioned PG&E would have till Aug. 16 to reply.
“PG&E’s responses is not going to be deemed as an admission by PG&E that it brought on any fireplace, however they’ll function a place to begin for dialogue,” the decide mentioned.
PG&E advised the Washington Submit each day that it “will reply by the deadline.”
(Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru; Modifying by Bernadette Baum)
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