SEVERE WX : Wind Advisory - High Wind Warning - Winter Weather Advisory View Alerts

FireWatch: California's Dixie Fire has charred nearly a million acres and the state's fire season shows no signs of relief

If the Dixie Fire continues to spread as expected, it will become a "gigafire," a rare designation given to wildfires that consume more than a million acres.

Posted: Sep 13, 2021 3:19 PM
Updated: Sep 13, 2021 3:20 PM

Kelly McCleary, CNN

(CNN) -- California's Dixie Fire is burning its way toward the record books as it nears the devastating milestone of one million acres scorched.

The fire, which has been burning across five counties in Northern California for 60 days, had consumed 960,335 acres as of Sunday evening, fire officials said. It was 67% contained.

That's a growth of more than 60,000 acres in just a week.

If the Dixie Fire continues to spread as expected, it will become a "gigafire," a rare designation given to wildfires that consume more than a million acres.

California recorded its first gigafire last year as the August Complex Fire chewed through 1,032,648 acres and more than 900 structures on its march to becoming the state's largest ever fire. The August Complex Fire began in August 2020 as a series of separate fires sparked by lighting that eventually morphed into the gargantuan blaze.

While historic, the designation likely won't change much for those whose lives are directly impacted by Dixie's flames. Evacuation warnings and orders are already in place in Plumas, Lassen and Shasta counties.

So far, 1,329 structures have been lost to the flames, residential, business or otherwise. Last month, the small community of Greenville, about 150 miles north of Sacramento, was all but wiped out by the Dixie Fire. In the community's commercial center at Main Street and State Route 89, nearly every business appeared to have collapsed or been gutted by the flames.

More than a dozen large fires burning across the state
While the Dixie Fire is California's largest active blaze, it's not the only one challenging firefighters across the state: 13 larges fires are currently burning, according to the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC).

The Caldor Fire in the Lake Tahoe region is the second-largest currently burning in the state. It measured 219,267 acres Sunday evening and was 65% contained, according to Cal Fire. The flames prompted the evacuation of South Lake Tahoe late last month, but improving conditions allowed residents to return home about a week later. Officials cautioned, though, that residents should be ready to leave again at a moment's notice.

Cal Fire Chief Thom Porter warned last week that California's fire season is "far from over" and forecasters predicted dry and windy weather conditions will continue to create the ideal environment for wildfires to ignite and expand.

Overall, there are 80 large wildfires actively burning across the US, according to the NIFC. Idaho has the most fires, with 22 currently burning. More than three million acres have been torched by the active fires nationwide.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 352026

Reported Deaths: 4185
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah55306692
Washington38321316
Marion36352445
Clackamas29350304
Lane27309299
Jackson22783304
Deschutes19886124
Umatilla14286144
Linn12617120
Douglas11918241
Josephine9292195
Yamhill8584111
Klamath7765111
Polk719680
Malheur552774
Benton537630
Coos492593
Columbia375743
Jefferson366351
Union316247
Lincoln313338
Wasco282640
Crook277646
Clatsop240729
Baker199228
Tillamook194929
Hood River190137
Morrow183023
Curry178723
Harney110225
Grant98012
Lake89711
Wallowa67312
Gilliam1494
Sherman1463
Wheeler1031
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 4825708

Reported Deaths: 70829
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles147768626443
Riverside3704095008
San Diego3649124169
San Bernardino3574215597
Orange3234075528
Sacramento1584372283
Fresno1451192063
Santa Clara1450041895
Kern1449141615
Alameda1202831381
San Joaquin1022501721
Ventura1008011165
Contra Costa99612995
Stanislaus856421319
Tulare79513958
San Francisco54220644
San Mateo53970622
Monterey50772583
Solano45898340
Santa Barbara45005522
Merced42047579
Sonoma40822402
Placer39118420
Imperial35794764
Kings32587315
San Luis Obispo29797331
Madera23680281
Butte23649265
Shasta23544341
Santa Cruz20928218
Yolo20240248
Marin17644243
El Dorado17083149
Sutter13847172
Napa12855100
Yuba1000882
Tehama9406107
Humboldt9171108
Nevada909490
Mendocino757686
Lassen749946
San Benito741372
Tuolumne680893
Lake6565104
Amador540364
Siskiyou445842
Glenn433632
Calaveras385180
Del Norte357141
Colusa302818
Inyo203540
Mono16565
Plumas16046
Mariposa130815
Trinity86711
Modoc6758
Unassigned1820
Sierra1810
Alpine1030
Out of CA00
Medford
Partly Cloudy
61° wxIcon
Hi: 60° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 61°
Brookings
Mostly Cloudy
56° wxIcon
Hi: 62° Lo: 40°
Feels Like: 56°
Crater Lake
Partly Cloudy
61° wxIcon
Hi: 40° Lo: 24°
Feels Like: 61°
Grants Pass
Partly Cloudy
61° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 34°
Feels Like: 61°
Klamath Falls
Partly Cloudy
49° wxIcon
Hi: 50° Lo: 30°
Feels Like: 43°
Strong winds tonight
KDRV Radar
KDRV Fire Danger
KDRV Weather Cam

Community Events