Aircraft help fight California wildfire as smoke clears – News Vibe24

    Aircraft help fight California wildfire as smoke clears - Times of India
    The dense smoke that held back winds and temperatures in the area of ​​the largest wildfire in California history was cleared Monday of scenic forests, allowing firefighters to re-engage in the battle to contain the massive Dixie fire.
    The recently clear sky will allow more than two dozen helicopters and two landed aircraft to fly again and make ground crew maneuvering safer.
    “At this time, the fire will increase. But the good thing is that we can lift aircraft,” said Ryan Bain, a spokesman for the fire department.
    The winds were not expected to reach the wild speeds that helped the fire erupt last week. But firefighters working in unprecedented conditions to protect thousands of endangered homes remained a concern.
    Fueled by strong gusts and dry vegetation, the fire burned much of the small Greenville community last Wednesday and Thursday. At least 627 homes and other structures were destroyed by Monday, and another 14,000 buildings continued to be threatened in northern Sierra Nevada.
    Damage reports are preliminary because assessment teams cannot enter many areas, officials said.
    The Dixie Fire, named after the road it started four weeks ago, grew 765 square miles (1,980 square kilometers) by Sunday night to just 21 percent, according to the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. of California. An area twice the size of New York City had been burned.
    Four firefighters were taken to hospital on Friday after being hit by a fallen branch. More than 30 people were initially reported missing, but by Monday Plumas County Sheriff’s Office had reported all of them.
    With smoke billowing over the eastern parts of the fire, crews who attacked directly on the front line would be forced to retreat and create containment lines further back, said Dan McKeague, a U.S. Forest Service fire officer.
    The blaze became the largest single fire in California history, surpassing last year’s Creek Fire in a rural downtown downtown area.
    The Dixie Fire is about half the size of the August complex, a series of lightning-induced fires in 2020 in seven counties that were fought together, and state officials consider it the largest fire in California overall.
    The cause of the fire is being investigated. Pacific Gas & Electric said it may have been fired when a tree fell on one of its wires. A federal judge on Friday ordered PG&E to provide details by August 16th about the equipment and vegetation from which the fire started.
    Governor Gavin Newsom looked at the damage in Greenville over the weekend, writing on Twitter that “our hearts ache for this city.”
    “These are climate-related fires and we need to recognize that we have the capacity not only in the state but also in this country to solve them,” Newsom told CNN.
    Heat waves and historical drought associated with climate change have made fires more difficult to combat in the American West. Scientists say climate change has made the region much hotter and drier over the past 30 years and will continue to make the weather more extreme and fires more frequent and devastating. Fires across the West are coming as parts of Europe are also battling large fires triggered by dry bone conditions.
    Northwest of the Dixie fire in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest, hundreds of homes were threatened by two fires that continued to rise. About a quarter of the McFarland fire was contained. New evacuation orders were issued Monday for residents near the Monument Fire, which contained only about 3%.
    South of the Dixie fire, firefighters prevented further development of the Fire that broke out Wednesday near the Colfax community and destroyed 68 homes.
    Smoke from wildfires in the western United States continues to flow into parts of Colorado and Utah, where air quality in many areas has been described as unhealthy. Denver’s air quality improved on Sunday, but the smoke has made the air there and in Salt Lake City among the worst in the world.
    The California fire season is well on its way to surpassing last season, which was the worst in the state’s recent history.
    Since the beginning of the year, more than 6,000 fires have destroyed more than 1,260 square miles (3,260 square kilometers) of land – three times the loss for the same period in 2020, according to state fire figures.
    Permanent California wildfires were among 107 major wildfires in 14 states, most notably the West, where historic drought conditions have left soils dry and ripe for ignition.

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