Massive California Megafire Threatens To Overwhelm Firefighters

Tamarack Fire

In recent years California has been plagued by horrific fires. Unfortunately, this fire season is not off to a very good start with an intense fire in Butte and Plumas Counties as well as in the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest.

Dixie Fire

Northern California is no stranger to massive blazes in fire season. Currently, the Dixie Fire has torched over 100,000 acres in Butte and Plumas counties. It has demolished eight structures and is threatening 1,500 additional to the east in Lake Almanor.

The wildfire is only at 17% containment. According to wildfire experts the Califorina fires swift takeover and quick burn can be credited to the heat and dry vegetation.

The Dixie Fire has also been fueled by winds and rough terrain. According to CAL FIRE Butte County spokesman Rick Carhart, the valleys, peaks, and canyons are making it difficult to gain control over the flames.

“There are fingers of fire that are burning, so it’s not the whole fire front moving together. With more flame-front out there, there’s more ability for it to grow.”

Rick Carhart

Poor Conditions & Rough Terrain

Clear skies only make things worse, according to Carhart. Over 500 personnel have been brought in from other states. Firefighters have joined the fight from Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, and Florida bringing the total to 3,900 firefighters.

Lake Almanor has evacuation orders for the west shore. Other areas with evacuation orders are Butterfly Valley, Round Valley Reservoir and Long Valley, Chester and Lake Almanor Peninsula.

According to the California Department of Transportation, some portions of Highway 89 are closed and parts of Bucks Lake Road. CAL FIRE operations chief Tony Brownell said that they are dealing with 40-foot flames and spot fires that jump lines easily.

“If conditions hold, we’ve got a great probability of success up here. Mother Nature gets a vote. If the wind comes back up, we get spots over the line.”

Tony Brownell

Tamarack Fire

The fire burning along the California- Nevada state line is up to 50,000 acres and growing with only 4% containment. Firefighters are working to keep the flames away from the Spring Valley and Holbrook Highlans communities.

Around 1,200 firefighters are battling the blaze with ground crews, tankers, and helicopters. The ground there is proving to be difficult with smoke and wind causing serious problems.

Air conditions across the area have moved to “very unhealthy.”

Sources: 1, 2

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