While firefighters have made progress on two of the largest fires in California history, both the Dixie and Caldor Fires continue to burn though grim milestones. The Dixie fire has burned more than 900,000 acres since it ignited in Pumas County 54 days ago and is primed to surpass the 1 million acre mark, a mark only boroken once in California’s history — last year, by the August Complex fire. Firefighters say the southeastern part of the Dixie Fire is still demonstrating extreme fire behavior and is set to be fueled by very dry conditions.
“For the next seven days, we expect no precipitation at all, which is what this fire really needs,” incident meteorologist Jack Messick told the LA times. “It’s not there.” Of the top 20 largest California wildfires on record, 17 have occurred since 2000; 11 since 2016; five in 2020 — and three this year alone. Meanwhile, the Caldor Fire is a bit more contained, allowing for some evacuation orders in the Lake Tahoe region to be downgraded to evacuation warnings. But, more than a dozen large fires are burning in California, and more than 2 million acres have burned in the state this year, causing firefighting resources to be deployed much earlier than usual. (CNN, LA Times $, WSJ $, NBC Bay Area, SF Chronicle $, Washington Post $, The Hill; Climate Signals background: 2021 Western wildfire season, 2020 Western wildfire season)