- More than 80 current wildfires were burning through 1,157,976 acres in 13 states.
- Twenty thousand firefighters are battling the blazes.
- ‘Fire clouds’ and dry lightning add to the misery.
Pacific Gas & Electric, the nation’s largest utility, reported to Californiathat its equipment might have been involved in the start of the Dixie Fire burning in the Sierra Nevada. The utility said in a filing Sunday that a repairman responding to a circuit outage on July 13 spotted blown fuses in a conductor atop a pole, a tree leaning into the conductor, and fire at the base of the tree.
PG&E equipment has repeatedly been linked to significant wildfires, including the 2018 blaze that ravaged the Northern California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, better known as CalFire, have collected equipment from the location.of Paradise. The Dixie Fire has grown to 29 square miles, mainly in the remote wilderness. The utility said investigators with the
Meanwhile, powerful storms forecast for parts of the drought-stricken West thiscould do more harm than good as “fire clouds” and dry lightning sweep across a region already dotted with wildfires fueled by parched vegetation, heat, and winds. The storms brought to Phoenix and other areas of the Southwest, but less rain is forecast farther north.
“These storms can cause cloud-to-ground lightning and ignite fires,” AccuWeather meteorologist Thomas Geiger warned. ally,conditions could add to the misery in the coming days, the National Interagency Fire Center warned.
The More than 80 wildfires were burning through 1,157,976 acres in 13 states, battled by almost 20,000 firefighters.Dixiethreatened more than 800 homes and other structures. The remoteness of the blaze, along with the steep terrain, was adding to the challenges faced by hundreds of firefighters. “Thunderstorms with abundant lightning & little rainfall could produce new fire starts,” the National in Sacramento said.
The fire’s edge is just a few miles from Paradise, which burned almost to the ground in a wildfire three years ago that. But the fire was moving away from the town, and no , or evacuation warnings were given as of Monday morning.
Large “pyrocumulus clouds” formed over the Dixie Fire, producing aactivity, CalFire said in its latest incident report. Pyrocumulus clouds – fire clouds – look like giant, dirty-colored thunderheads that sit atop a . The top of the smoke column often flattens to take the shape of an anvil.
In Oregon, the Bootleg Fire also has produced pyrocumulus clouds. That fire has burned almost 500 square miles and is among the largest blazes in Oregon history, but it’s located in a remote area away from population masses. At least 2,000were evacuated at some point during the fire, and another 5,000 were threatened.
Fire fire officials said in a bleak update late Saturday night.pyrocumulus clouds form from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. each day as the sun penetrates the smoke layer and heats the ground below, creating an updraft of . The fire, which ignited two weeks ago, remains “very active” and growing because of hot, dry, and breezy conditions,
“Poor humidity recovery at night contributes to activesaid. “Drought-affected fuels are generating robust spread rates. Expecting similar conditions for the next several days.”
The Tamarack Fire had burned about 30 square miles along the California-Nevada border. The blaze destroyed several structures and threatened the tiny California hamlet of Markleeville, less than 150. Dena Brown posted on Twitter that her father had to leave his home. “We just had a 6.0 earthquake recently. Now, this. #prayerrequest #TamarackFire,” she wrote.
Contributing: The Associated Press