Dixie Fire, 21% Contained, Still Threatening Over 10,000 Homes in California

The Dixie Fire, reportedly 21 percent contained, still threatens over 10,000 homes in California, the Associated Press reported.

Evacuation orders in several small mountain communities along the west shore of Lake Almanor were prompted as a result of the fire, officials said.

The fire charred more than 301 square miles of timber and brush in Plumas and Butte counties, though an official, updated damage estimate was not available Sunday.

For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below.

Dixie Fire Threatens 10,000 Homes
Ten thousand homes are in danger as the Dixie Fire in Northern California rages on. Flames from a backfire envelop a section of forest during the Dixie fire in the Prattville community of unincorporated Plumas County on July 23, 2021. Josh Edelson/Getty Images

The Dixie Fire had already leveled over a dozen houses and other structures in Northern California when it combined with the Fly Fire and tore through the tiny community of Indian Falls after dark Saturday.

Firefighters also reported progress against the nation's largest wildfire, the Bootleg Fire in southern Oregon, containing 53 percent of the blaze that had scorched 640 square miles (1,657 square kilometers) of land.

The lightning-caused fire has burned 67 homes, mainly cabins, and at least 2,000 houses were under evacuation orders.

Firefighters have been dealing with perilous fire behavior, with flames consuming huge areas of vegetation each day. Such conditions are often from a combination of unusual random, short-term and natural weather patterns heightened by long-term, human-caused climate change. Global warming has made the West much warmer and drier in the past 30 years.

In southwest Montana, officials were focusing on structure protection for three fires amid weather forecasts of rising temperatures, low humidity and westerly winds this week, factors that could produce explosive growth.

Crews were trying to protect about 200 homes and cabins and prevent the 44-square-mile (144-square-kilometer) Trail Creek blaze from reaching the Big Hole National Battlefield in Beaverhead County, fire spokesman Jason Nedlo said. The battlefield site, operated by the National Park Service, has been closed because of the fire threat.

Five federal firefighters were in stable condition Sunday after being burned when swirling winds blew a lightning-caused wildfire back on them in eastern Montana on Thursday. The five were building a defensive line at the Devil's Creek Fire in Garfield County when the weather shifted suddenly.

Elsewhere in California, the 105-square-mile (272-square-kilometer) Tamarack Fire south of Lake Tahoe continued to burn through timber and chaparral and threatened communities on both sides of the California-Nevada state line. The fire, sparked by lightning July 4 in Alpine County, California, has destroyed at least 23 buildings, including more than a dozen in Nevada. It was 45 percent contained.

In north-central Washington, firefighters battled two blazes in Okanogan County that threatened hundreds of homes and again caused hazardous air quality conditions Saturday. And in northern Idaho, east of Spokane, Washington, a small fire near the Silverwood Theme Park prompted evacuations Friday evening at the park and in the surrounding area. The theme park was back open Saturday with the fire half contained.

More than 85 large wildfires were burning around the country, most of them in Western states. They had burned over 1.4 million acres (2,135 square miles, or more than 553,000 hectares).

Dixie Fire Threatens 10,000 Homes
Following the Dixie Fire, scorched cars are seen in a clearing in the Indian Falls community of Plumas County, Calif., on Sunday, July 25, 2021. Noah Berger/Associated Press