Crews Face 'Explosive Fire Growth' as California's Dixie Blaze Expands to Over 250K Acres

Crews battling the Dixie Fire in California recently faced "explosive fire growth" as the blaze has grown to over 250,000 acres.

According to data from Cal Fire, the fire has burned at least 253,052 acres and is currently 35 percent contained.

In a recent update from Cal Fire, officials said that firefighters on the Dixie Fire's East zone, experienced "explosive fire growth" during the late afternoon Monday.

"Engines, crews and heavy equipment shifted from other areas to increase structure protection and direct line construction as the fire moved toward Greenville. Firefighters on the night shift continued that work last night," officials said in the update for the fire's East zone.

"Today, dry, hot and windy conditions are expected and the forecast calls for the return of active fire behavior. Crews are focused on building lines to contain northern perimeter growth, protecting structures and holding the remainder of the fire perimeter."

According to the recent update, crews on the West zone of the Dixie Fire are expected to face increased fire behavior due to "drying conditions."

In the update for the fire's West zone, officials said: "Forecasted weather patterns remain steady with no big weather changes though conditions remain near critical with breezy, hot and dry weather today. A dry cold frontal passage will bring a wind test to the fire late Wednesday into Thursday before a quieter weather pattern returns."

The Dixie Fire, in the counties of Butte and Plumas, was first reported by officials on July 14, and has continued to grow since. Just last week, the Dixie Fire burned 220,012 acres and was 23 percent contained.

According to Cal Fire data, the Dixie Fire has destroyed 67 structures while at least nine others have been damaged.

While its cause remains under investigation, the Dixie Fire is now the 11th-largest wildfire in California history. It is the second-largest active wildfire in the U.S., smaller than only the Bootleg Fire in Oregon, which has burned over 413,000 acres.

In response to the fire's "explosive" growth, the Plumas County Sheriff's Office issued new evacuation orders on Tuesday for residents in the area near Lake Almanor.

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"An evacuation WARNING has been issued for: Lake Almanor Peninsula; includes, Hamilton Branch, Bailey Creek, the North Shore Campground, and all of the Lake Almanor Peninsula community," the Plumas County Sheriff's Office said in a Facebook post.

In addition to the Dixie Fire, California is facing 10 other active wildfires. According to the National Interagency Fire Center, the active wildfires in California have burned over 406,000 acres as of Tuesday.

Dixie Fire
California's Dixie Fire has grown to over 250,000 acres and is currently 35 percent contained. Above, flames are reflected in the Feather River as the Dixie Fire burns in the area on July 26, 2021, near Quincy, California. Justin Sullivan/Getty