The Dixie Fire in Northern California has grown to over 700,000 acres, while the newer Caldor Fire west of Sacramento has burned over 82,000 acres.
The Dixie Fire, which is located above the Cresta Dam in Feather River Canyon, has grown to 714,219 acres in 38 days and is 35 percent contained, according to a Saturday update from the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. It is the state’s second-largest fire in history.
According to the report, the fire has destroyed 1,230 properties, damaged 90, and triggered evacuation orders and warnings in Plumas, Lassen, and Tehama counties, as well as evacuation alerts in Butte County. Its line of damage included a fire earlier this month that destroyed many historic structures and scores of residences in Greenville, a historic mining town.
While the cause of the Dixie Fire sparked on July 13 is still under investigation, according to Cal Fire, Pacific Gas and Electric company may have caused it, according to a report by the utility submitted to the California Public Utilities Commission nearly a week later.
The Caldor Fire located east of Omo Ranch and south of the community of Grizzly Flats in El Dorado County, has been active for seven days and has grown to 82,444 acres with no containment, Cal Fire said Saturday in an update.
“Due to very dry receptive fuel beds, the vegetation is igniting easily throughout the fire area,” Cal Fire said in the update.
About 23,000 people have had to evacuate within six days due to the rapidly growing Caldor Fire alone, The Mercury News reported.
The fire has prompted evacuation orders, warnings in areas of El Dorado County, an evacuation warning in Amador County and closure of Highway 50, according to Cal Fire. And it has destroyed 245 structures and damaged 13 structures.
The Tahoe Daily Tribune reported that the cause is still under investigation.
Cal Fire has reported 1,558 personnel battling the Caldor Fire and 5,670 personnel battling the Dixie Fire. No fatalities have been reported from either fire, according to its updates.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service Pacific Southwest Region recently announced the closure of nine national forests, effective from Monday at 11:59 p.m. through Sept. 6 at 11:59 p.m.
The goal of the forest closures is “to better provide public and firefighter safety due to extreme fire conditions throughout Northern California, and strained firefighter resources through the country,” Cal Fire said in update.