Firefighters died of illness while being assigned to one of California’s largest wildfires, officials said Sunday.
Edwin Zniga of the California Department of Forestry and Fire said he couldn’t provide any other details about death.
The Dixie fire began in mid-July in the northern Sierra Nevada Mountains, Nevada, and is the second largest wildfire in recorded state history. According to Cal Fire, it burned about 1,400 square miles (3,625 square kilometers) in five counties and three national parks and forests.
After destroying about 1,300 homes and other buildings, 56% fought the contained flames and injured three firefighters.
The fire was fought by 3,800 firefighters from various agencies. According to fire authorities, the crew tried to surround the fire due to the mild winds and rising humidity over the past two days. The fire struck more than 100,000 acres of timber in one day at its peak.
Fire intelligence officer Robert Jones said the flame still consumed 10,000 to 20,000 acres, “it looks huge except when compared to the overall size of the fire.”
This was the first reported death of more than 7,000 wildfires that struck California during a season characterized by drought and hot, dry weather, with timber, brushes and grasslands crating throughout the western United States. rice field. The California fire burned more than 3,000 square miles.
Due to fire concerns, all national forests in the state have been closed.
California has experienced ever-increasing and deadly wildfires in recent years as climate change has made the west much warmer and drier in the last three decades. Scientists say the weather will continue to be more extreme and wildfires will become more frequent, destructive and unpredictable.
To the south of Dixie Fire, Caldor Fire was just a few miles from Lake Tahoe, a popular resort on the California-Nevada border. Approximately 22,000 residents of South Lake Tahoe were ordered to evacuate last week.
According to Cal Fire, crew members working overnight at the eastern end of the flame were able to keep the fire within the current containment line, and the giant flame was contained 43%.
There was no immediate word about when residents could go home, but at a Sunday morning briefing, fire chief Tim Ernst said the crew put out the embers and kept some communities safe. He said he would continue to wipe out hotspots for repopulation “in the next few days” around South Lake Tahoe.
The forced evacuation order on the Nevada side of the state border was lifted on Saturday, but some areas remained alert. Douglas county officials said the fire could still threaten homes and urged residents to stay vigilant.
The fire injured five firefighters and civilians and burned more than 700 homes, CalFire reported. From cabins to ski resorts, nearly 28,000 homes, businesses and other buildings remained under threat.