California faces major droughts and fires
This past week, some areas of the state of California and the Pacific Northwest have experienced drought conditions fueling wildfires throughout the region.
This year, the United States Drought Monitor has reported that California's wildfire season has been devastating and drought conditions have been exacerbated as a result.
Wildfires in California have burned about twice the number of acres that were destroyed in the same time in 2020. Almost half of California suffers from an exceptional drought, which is the worst category according to the Drought Monitor.
"Further expansion of moderate to exceptional droughts was introduced in parts of California and the Northwest, as agricultural, wildfire and water supply impacts continued to increase," the monitor determined.
In addition, according to a report by CNN meteorologist Robert Shackelford, "the Pacific Northwest, specifically Northern California, Western Oregon and Washington State, is under alert, with elevated heat causing sweltering conditions."
‘Dixie,’ the name of the sixth largest fire in California history. It affected a territory larger than the city of Los Angeles on Thursday, as flames engulfed an area of more than 1,305 square kilometers (504 square miles).
In addition to the damage caused by 'Dixie,' the fire also practically wiped out the historic town of Greenville. The incident was aggravated by the parched vegetation in the area and gusts of wind that were going at more than 60 kilometers per hour. The flames destroyed a gas station, a hotel and a bar, among many other properties in the town founded during the California gold rush more than a century ago.
"Tonight we lost Greenville," said legislator Doug LaMalfa, through a moving video posted on his Facebook page. "There are no words."
To protect the public, 4,000 people had to evacuate Greenville and dispatched of more trucks and bulldozers were coordinated to reinforce the fight against the flames. About 26,000 people from other surrounding counties also had to leave their homes to avoid the blaze.
In Oregon, the drought is worsening the spread of fires, as almost a quarter of the state is under an exceptionally arid climate, making it difficult to control a huge fire called 'Bootleg.'
"Despite the recent rain, fire activity increased yesterday," according to an InciWeb statement. "Fire activity increased as the day got warmer and wind gusts were stronger than expected."
'Bootleg' has burned 413,765 acres since it started on July 6, and is 84% contained.