Dixie Fire in California Grows to Largest Blaze in U.S.
The Dixie Fire exploded over more than 97,000 acres in 24 hours, becoming the third largest wildland fire on record in California on Friday. It had only been sixth on the fire list the day before.
The blaze, which razed the town of Greenville in Northern California this week, also became the largest blaze in the United States this year, having burned 432,813 acres as of Friday morning, according to the New York Forest Fire Tracker. Times.
It has destroyed at least 91 structures so far and is likely to expand, with only 35% of the fires contained.
The Bootleg Fire in Oregon was previously the largest wildfire in the country this year, at 413,765 acres. This fire is 87 percent contained.
Experts say the Dixie Fire’s dramatic growth is part of a trend of rapidly expanding fires fueled by severe drought conditions, driven in part by a warming climate.
“The number of fires has not increased, but the number of areas burned since the 1980s in California has doubled – more than doubled,” said Robert Field, a researcher at Columbia University and the Goddard Institute for Space Studies from NASA.
The fire season has also started earlier in recent years. The Dixie fire started on July 13, about two weeks before the state typically experienced its most intense fires.
“We are approaching historic levels of fires that have not been seen at this explosive rate of growth for over 100 years,” said Tim Jones, public information manager for the Dixie Fire Agencies. .
The 10 biggest fires in California
Seven of California’s biggest wildfires have occurred in the past year. The largest in the state’s history – dating back to 1932, as earlier records are considered unreliable – burned down last August, when a series of dry lightning strikes sparked several fires that merged to burn over a million acres.
“There is just a lot more fuel in the landscape, and it’s become more flammable because of climate change,” Dr Field said.
Fire experts don’t see much indication that conditions will improve.
“It seems like we’ve crossed some sort of threshold, and we’re seeing more and more extreme events,” said Jennifer Balch, who heads the Earth Lab at the University of Colorado Boulder, adding, “I have was surprised last year.I guess this year I was getting ready.
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