The Dixie Fire in California has now burned more than 463,000 acres, making it the second largest wildfire in state history.
The blaze, which started on July 13, has swept through four counties in Northern California — Plumas, Butte, Lassen, and Tehama — and destroyed the town of Greenville, Lassen National Park's historic Mount Harkness Fire Lookout, and more than 400 homes and commercial buildings. Sheriff's officials in Plumas County also say that four people in the area threatened by the fire are missing. As of Sunday morning, the fire was 21 percent contained.
The Dixie Fire is the largest wildfire currently burning in the United States, forcing thousands to evacuate from their homes. Fire officials said the massive smoke cloud is helping keep temperatures lower and humidity slightly higher, making it a bit easier to suppress the fire, but it also has made it unsafe for some water-dropping aircraft to fly, the Los Angeles Times reports.
The largest fire in California history was the Complex Fire, which burned more than 1 million acres in 2020. An investigation into what started the Dixie Fire is underway, with the Pacific Gas & Electric Co. saying it could have been sparked by a Douglas fir falling onto a power line.