California’s Dixie Fire First to Burn from One Side of Sierra Nevada to the Other


The ongoing Dixie Fire in California is the first in the state’s recorded history to burn from one side of the Sierra Nevada to the other.

As of Wednesday, the fire — the second-largest in California history — had burned 662,647 acres and was 35% contained.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported on the grim historic feat of the fire, northeast of Chico:

As firefighters battled to keep the month-old Dixie Fire from burning into Susanville, California’s top fire official said it had become the first in state history to burn from the western slopes of the Sierra Nevada across the mountains to the eastern valley floor.

The fire ignited July 14 in the western slopes of Butte County and has since burned eastward across the mountains. Cal Fire Director Thom Porter revealed Wednesday during a briefing on the dire fire conditions across the state that it was an unprecedented spread never before recorded in California history.

In addition, a new fire, the Caldor Fire, has “exploded” southwest of Lake Tahoe, forcing thousands of people to be evacuated. The San Jose Mercury-News reported:

An “unprecedented” wildfire southwest of Lake Tahoe has exploded dramatically, forcing thousands to flee their homes in late-night evacuations and prompting the emergency closure of a national forest as firefighters struggle to catch up with the blaze’s overwhelming spread.

In just four days, the Caldor Fire has charred 62,586 acres in El Dorado County, burning through the 1,200-person town of Grizzly Flats and encroaching rapidly on other small communities nestled in the Sierra foothills. At least two civilians have been injured so far.

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