Dixie Fire Turns California Town into ‘Wasteland’
After the Dixie Fire devastated the Gold Rush town of Greenville, Calif., local officials said they hoped improving weather conditions on Friday would help firefighters deal with further damage to the fire.
At a community meeting Thursday night, a meteorologist told residents of threatened cities several hours north of Sacramento that winds were expected to subside and wildfire smoke would keep temperatures on the ground cooler. He said there was no sign of strong weather systems this week.
But the devastation caused by a gust of wind in Greenville, a city of about 1,000 people, was not one to rest in peace.
“It looks like a bomb went off,” said 37-year-old Ryan Mecher, whose father’s house in Greenville was gutted. “There’s nothing left.”
Mr Mecher lives in Grass Valley, itself threatened by the River Fire, and he said it was heartbreaking to think of what was lost in Greenville – the library where he would pick up books and VHS tapes, An arcade with pizza place next door.
Also destroyed were a charter school where KJC Esso’s husband works and the Sai Hall Memorial Museum, which covered the history of the Indian Valley and was built hundreds of hours by his parents.
Ms Essu, 38, lives in nearby Taylorsville and evacuated south on Thursday with her Nigerian dwarf goats, her husband, their three young children and their parents, who don’t know that their Greenville home is still standing Or not.
She said it sounded like a movie as they packed up, an alarm sounding and wild winds sending a plume of smoke with a black center toward the area.
“Greenville is a wasteland,” she said. “It’s real.”
Plumas County Sheriff Todd Johns said at the community meeting that no one was reported injured, but officials were still searching for four people who were not traced. He estimated that the fire, now the sixth largest in California history, had destroyed more than 100 homes in the area.
“My heart is broken for what has happened there, and for those who have lost homes and businesses,” said Johns, a lifelong Sheriff of Greenville.
The Dixie Fire is 35 percent contained and has burned more than 420,000 acres in four counties. Officials said the fire appeared to have spared Chester, burning on both sides of the city from Lake Alomar, but other communities – Westwood, Chester Mills – remained at risk closer to Greenville.
On Sunday, officials lifted a mandatory evacuation order for Greenville after several days of favorable weather. But then the wind changed direction three times in two days, explosively spreading the Dixie Fire.
“We’re seeing really appalling fire behavior, and I don’t know how to magnify it,” said Plumas National Forest supervisor Chris Carlton. “We have a lot of experienced firefighters who have served for 20, 30 years and have never seen this kind of behavior.”
Governor Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency for three counties on Thursday, noting that “strong winds, high temperatures, drought conditions, and dry fuel have further increased the spread of the Antelope Fire in Siskiyou County on the Oregon border.” “, and river fires in Nevada and Placer Counties northeast of Sacramento.
The River Fire, which has grown to 2,600 acres starting Wednesday, has destroyed 76 structures and injured three people, including a firefighter. According to the New York Times fire tracker, it is 15 percent contained, but there is a threat to 3,400 more structures, with 24,000 people living within five miles of the fire.
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