The devastating blaze is now more than 482,000 acres and just 22% contained, with more than 5,100 personnel working to fight off the flames.
The reason that many consider Dixie the biggest fire in state history is because 2020’s massive 1,032,648-acre August Complex was a “complex fire,” made up of many lightning-sparked blazes.
Hunter McKee pets Rosy after helping evacuate the horse to the edge of Lake Almanor as the Dixie Fire approaches Chester, Calif, on Tuesday, Aug. 3, 2021. Officials issued evacuation orders for the town earlier in the day as dry and windy conditions led to increased fire activity. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)
The Dixie Fire has also surpassed last year’s 379,895-acre Creek Fire, which was located in the state’s central valley agricultural region.
The cause of the Dixie Fire remains under investigation – though Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) told regulators in July that the fire may have been started when a tree fell into a conductor on top of a pole.
Deer pass a Greenville building destroyed by the Dixie Fire, on Saturday, Aug. 7, 2021, in Plumas County, Calif. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)
On Friday, a federal judge ordered PG&E to provide details about the equipment and vegetation where the fire started by Aug. 16.
The Dixie Fire began on July 13, with fire eventually scorching the Plumas National Forest, Lassen National Forest and Butte, Lassen, Plumas and Tehama counties, according to InciWeb.
The fire, named for the road where it started, merged with the July 22 Fly Fire as firefighters fought against arid, hot weather conditions and strong winds.
Four firefighters were injured in the effort and were transported to a hospital after being struck by a fallen branch.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom examines a scorched utility pole while surveying Dixie Fire damage in Greenville on Saturday, Aug. 7, 2021, in Plumas County, Calif. Accompanying him is Cal Fire Assistant Region Chief Curtis Brown. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)
The town of Greenville was all but incinerated last week as the fire tore through the area. The wildfire has resulted in multiple evacuations, damage to more than 600 structures and unhealthy air quality for thousands.
Another 14,000 buildings were threatened in the northern Sierra Nevada on Monday and officials said damage reports were preliminary because assessment teams can’t get into many areas.
Firefighters battling the Dixie Fire clear Highway 89 after a burned tree fell across the roadway in Plumas County, Calif., on Friday, Aug. 6, 2021. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)
The state’s fire season is on track to exceed last year’s season, which was the worst in recent recorded state history.
According to the National Interagency Fire Center, there are now 108 large fires or complexes that have burned more than 2.3 million acres across the 15 states.
More than 25,200 wildland firefighters and 33 Type 1 and Type 2 incident management teams have been assigned to incidents, and close to 40,000 wildfires have burned more than 3.6 million acres this year.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.