The second largest fire in California history continues to rage

It became the second largest fire in California history on Sunday and it is not over yet. The gigantic “Dixie Fire” should last at least another ten days. Sweltering temperatures above 38 degrees are expected midweek, so firefighters believe the blaze won’t be extinguished until August 20.

According to the latest report released by the California fire department shortly before 3 p.m. on Sunday (midnight in Paris), the fire had burned just over 187,000 hectares since its departure on July 13 in the north. of this state. It was limited to only 21%. In particular, the city of Greenville was totally devastated a few days ago and three people are still missing.

California Governor Gavin Newsom walked through the Greenville ruins on Saturday, expressing “deep appreciation” for the tireless work of the firefighters. He said authorities should devote more resources to forest management and fire prevention. But “the droughts are much more severe, it is hotter than ever … We must openly admit that these fires are caused by the weather,” he added. In fact, the fire has only grown, fanned by sweltering heat, alarming drought and persistent winds. Eight of the ten largest fires in California have burned since 2017. And even six since 2020, when the largest of all occurred, the “August Complex”, with 417,000 hectares destroyed.

Wildfires are common in California. But due to climate change, this summer is particularly violent and there were eleven fires across the state on Sunday. Thousands of residents have fled the area, many of whom have taken refuge in makeshift camps, sometimes simple tents, often not knowing if their homes have escaped the flames. Some 370 structures (houses and other buildings) have already been destroyed.

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According to a preliminary investigation, the fall of a tree on one of the thousands of electrical cables that cross the American landscape is at the origin of the fire. This power line is owned by Pacific Gas and Company (PG&E), a private operator already guilty of causing “Camp Fire,” a fire that nearly wiped the city of Paradise off the map and killed 86 people in 2018. kilometres. outside.

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