At least eight people are missing and thousands anxiously waiting at evacuation centers as California’s Dixie Fire, now the nation’s largest wildfire, rips through Northern California communities and threatens to incinerate thousands of homes.
The Plumas County Sheriff’s Office is asking for help finding eight people who have been reported missing during the blaze, according to a late Friday statement. The office found 16 missing people Friday.
The Dixie Fire now spans 679 square miles and is just 21% contained. No injuries or deaths have been reported.The fire is the third-largest wildfire in California history.
But it is the largest single wildfire in the state’s history. The wildfires in 2020 and 2018 holding the top two positions were both complexes.
Fortunately, better weather conditions, including higher humidity and calmer winds, were expected to aid the fight against the blaze Saturday.
Temperatures are expected to top 90 degrees, rather than the triple-digit highs earlier in the week.Cal Fire said it expects full containment by Aug. 20, and the cause of the fire remains under investigation.
As hot, bone-dry, gusty weather hit California on Wednesday and Thursday, the fire raged through Greenville, a Gold Rush-era Sierra Nevada community of about 1,000, incinerating much of the downtown that included wooden buildings more than a century old.