Wildfires rage in the West, destroy homes in small California community

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The wild Dixie fire continues to spread and devour homes across California as the state struggles to contain over half a dozen large fires. 

The state’s largest fire has already consumed more than 181,000 acres since it started on July 14. Fire officials say that the blaze is about 20% contained as limited access continues to hamper containment efforts. 

The Dixie fire is not the only blaze that has troubled the West Coast state: Nine fires have continued to burn in various counties, according to Cal Fire. 

A firefighter passes a burning home as the Dixie Fire flares in Plumas County, Calif., Saturday, July 24, 2021. The fire destroyed multiple residences as it tore through the Indian Falls community. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

A firefighter passes a burning home as the Dixie Fire flares in Plumas County, Calif., Saturday, July 24, 2021. The fire destroyed multiple residences as it tore through the Indian Falls community. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

The earliest fire, the Lava fire, started on June 24 in Siskiyou County and has burned around 26,000 acres. 

WILDFIRE THREAT REMAINS HIGH AS SMOKE SPREADS TO EAST COAST

California Gov. Gavin Newsom has declared a state of emergency for four northern counties because of wildfires that he said were causing “conditions of extreme peril to the safety of persons and property.” The proclamation opened the way for more state support.

Firefighter Jesse Forbes rubs his head while battling the Dixie Fire near Prattville in Plumas County, Calif., on Friday, July 23, 2021. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

Firefighter Jesse Forbes rubs his head while battling the Dixie Fire near Prattville in Plumas County, Calif., on Friday, July 23, 2021. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

The Tamarack fire, which started on July 4 after a lightning strike, has consumed at least 10 buildings and threatens to spread into Nevada. 

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Officials had hoped for some relief thanks to thunderstorms over the weekend, but forecasters said some of the storms would be dry and produce little rain but more lightning, potentially sparking new blazes. 

Area damaged by the Bootleg Fire smolders near the Northwest edge of the blaze on Friday, July 23, 2021, near Paisley, Ore. (AP Photo/Nathan Howard)

Area damaged by the Bootleg Fire smolders near the Northwest edge of the blaze on Friday, July 23, 2021, near Paisley, Ore. (AP Photo/Nathan Howard)

More than 85 large wildfires have burned across the country, destroying over 1.4 million acres, mostly in Western states. Smoke from the more than 80 large fires across the West – combined with major wildfires in western Canada – are producing heavy plumes of smoke that are spreading across Canada and all the way to the East Coast.   

NORTHWEST FACES WILDFIRE RISK AS HOT, DRY WEATHER CONTINUES

The largest fire in the country is the Bootleg fire in Oregon, which is nearly halfway surrounded as more than 2,200 crew members try to fight the blaze. The fire has consumed over 400,000 acres.

“This fire is resistant to stopping at dozer lines,” Jim Hanson, fire behavior analyst, said in a news release from the Oregon Department of Forestry. “With the critically dry weather and fuels we are experiencing, firefighters are having to constantly reevaluate their control lines and look for contingency options.”

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The Bootleg fire has threatened to creep into Northern California, which would further compound the state’s problems as resources start to stretch thin. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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