Dixie Fire Races to Over 463,000 Acres in California, Full Containment Still Weeks Away

California's Dixie Fire continues to rage across the Golden State, reaching historic proportions with no end in sight anytime soon. As of Sunday, the blaze in Northern California had reached 463,477 acres, making it the second-biggest wildfire in the state's history. This is up from the nearly 435,000 acres reported Friday evening.

The Dixie Fire is currently spread across Butte, Lassen, Plumas, and Tehama counties, near the city of Chico. According to the official Cal Fire website, it's been tracked since July 14.

By Wednesday, the fire had burned through most of the town of Greenville. Firefighters say that roughly 14,000 buildings are currently at risk as the flames creep closer to the community of Crescent Mills.

dixie fire california
The Dixie Fire has become the second-biggest wildfire in California history. In this photo, an American flag is placed on a burned fire engine at a burned fire station in downtown Greenville, California, on August 7. Josh Edelson/AFP via Getty Images

Evacuation orders continue to be issued as the Dixie Fire spreads further at a rapid rate. Fire officials have said that high temperatures and historically low moisture levels have contributed to the blaze's speed. Each of these factors, the officials stressed, have been exacerbated by the effects of climate change and are likely to worsen in the future.

Some of the worst wildfires California has ever seen have come in the last few years. The Dixie Fire ranks only behind the August Complex Fire, which broke out last year and burned over a million acres.

"We're seeing fire activity that even veteran firefighters haven't seen in their career," Cal Fire spokesman Edwin Zuniga told The Washington Post. "So we're just in really uncharted territory."

The massive plumes of smoke created by the fire have made it more difficult for crews to fight from the air, allowing it to spread even more. Over 5,000 responders are working to fight the blaze, but it remains only 21 percent contained with full containment still weeks away.

One silver lining is that, despite Dixie's historic size, its levels of death and destruction are not as high as smaller blazes in the past. Dixie has so far ruined or destroyed several hundred structures and caused no reported deaths. In 2018, the smaller Camp Fire killed 85 people and burned around 18,000 structures, effectively destroying the entire town of Paradise.

"Everything in our lives is upside down," Desiree Maurer told the Post. She recently evacuated from the town of Westwood, near Greenville. "And we have it good. There are people right now in their cars, and they don't know where to go."