The Dixie wildfire destroyed large parts of the town of Greenville on Wednesday, tearing through the mountain community in Northern California.
The blaze, the largest active wildfire in California and second-largest in the U.S., has so far destroyed 278,227 acres of land and is only 35 percent contained, according to Cal Fire. After growing to more than 434 square miles, the Dixie Fire is now bigger than Dallas and New York City.
Read More: River Fire near Colfax
The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection says a raging wildfire that swept through a tiny Northern California mountain town is now the sixth-largest in state history. The 3-week-old Dixie Fire has blackened territory bigger than the city of Los Angeles, stretching over 504 square miles. It had already burned dozens of homes before it made a new run Wednesday evening and tore through the historic town of Greenville. There were no immediate reports of injuries or deaths. Another fire near the community of Colfax to the south destroyed homes and other structures on Wednesday.
A wind-driven wildfire tore through a Northern California mountain town, leaving much of the downtown in ashes as crews braced for another explosive run of flames in the midst of dangerous weather.
The Dixie Fire, swollen by bone-dry vegetation and 40-mph gusts, raged through the northern Sierra Nevada town of Greenville Wednesday evening. Fire officials confirmed that some buildings were destroyed, offering no details.
Early in the week, some 5,000 firefighters had made progress on the blaze, saving some threatened homes, bulldozing pockets of unburned vegetation and managing to surround a third of the perimeter.
“We did everything we could,” fire spokesman Mitch Matlow said. “Sometimes it’s just not enough.”
Evacuation orders for around 15,000 people were issued in areas affected by the Dixie Fire on Wednesday, but officials managed to save several homes throughout the day.
Across the United States, more acres have burned this year compared to this point in 2020 and in 2019. There were 38,447 fires affecting 3,279,393 acres recorded from January 1 to August 4, 2021, according to the National Interagency Fire Center.
That compares to 32,808 fires and 2,249,108 acres for the same period in 2020 and 27,191 fires and 3,235,456 acres in 2019.