Authorities were searching for three missing people as the Dixie Fire, the biggest wildfire now burning in the U.S., tore through Northern California communities, authorities said Saturday night.
Details: Evacuation orders were in effect for several Sierra Nevada mountain communities, as the third-largest blaze in California’s history continued to threaten homes.
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- Plumas County Sheriff Todd Johns told a community meeting Saturday night that two people from Greenville were missing and a woman from nearby Chester had been reported safe, but no official contact had been made with authorities.
- The Dixie Fire was also raging across Butte, Lassen, and Tehama counties.
Greg Hagwood, a Plumas County supervisor, said some residents under evacuation orders “who have guns” told law enforcement: “‘Get off my property and you are not telling me to leave,'” per the Los Angeles Times.
What they’re saying: California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) said in a video after visiting Greenville on Saturday that the Gold mining-era town had been “been completely destroyed” by the Dixie Fire.
By the numbers: The Dixie Fire had burned across almost 448,000 acres and was 21% contained, authorities said at Saturday night’s community meeting.
- Studies show human-caused climate change is driving an increase in the likelihood and severity of heat waves and droughts and, consequently, wildfires, Freedman notes.
Editor’s note: This article has been updated with comment from Newsom and to reflect the increase in land burned and that Johns said three people were missing, down from five.
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