California’s Dixie Fire Burns Clear Across a Mountain Range
(Bloomberg) -- California’s Dixie Fire has achieved a staggering distinction by becoming the first wildfire in history to burn clear across the Sierra Nevada Mountains.
It’s the first known fire to start in the range’s western foothills, burn up and over the crest and then descend into the eastern valleys, said Thom Porter, director of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, or Cal Fire.
“We don’t have any record of that happening before,” he said during a press conference Wednesday.
The portion scorched by the Dixie Fire boasts numerous peaks higher than 6,000 feet (1,800 meters).
One of 12 major blazes now burning across the Golden State, the Dixie Fire ignited July 14 and may have been sparked by a tree falling on a PG&E Corp. power line. By Wednesday morning, it had scorched almost 635,730 acres and destroyed much of the town of Greenville. The conflagration is still growing, fanned by strong winds, with firefighters achieving just 33% containment.
“It is exceedingly resistant to control,” Porter said. “This is not going to end any time soon.”
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