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.