Dubai real-estate firm DAMAC approved to take firm private    President Sisi supportive of strategy to localise automotive industry: PM Madbouly    Boeing to build military aircraft drones in Australian city    Egyptian president greets Saudi king on Saudi National Day    Vaccine inequity comes into stark focus during UN gathering    Fans fight at French league game in latest stadium violence    AP Interview: Top Pakistan diplomat details Taliban plan    Real Madrid stay red-hot, rout Mallorca 6-1 in Spanish league    Egypt looks forward to resumption of AU-sponsored GERD talks: FM    Egypt's stocks rebound on Wednesday as benchmark EGX 30 gains 0.93%    Saudi STC seeks $1.1 bln loan for Vodafone Egypt deal – sources    Lebanon raises fuel prices for 2nd time in 5 days    Egypt electricity minister leads high-level delegation to 65th IAEA General Conference    Seven female Afghan taekwondo athletes resettle in Australia    Dune    'Soul-crushing': US COVID-19 deaths are topping 1,900 a day    Gamal Hanafy's ceramic exhibition at Gezira Arts Centre is a must go    Italian Institute Director Davide Scalmani presents activities of the Cairo Institute for ITALIANA.IT platform    Qa'a play showing at Lycee El Horreya Theatre, Alexandria is a must go    President Sisi says River Nile lifeline for Egyptians, slams Ethiopia's intransigence in GERD talks    Egypt mourns death of former Defence Minister Mohamed Hussein Tantawy    UAE-based Alameda to invest around $318 mln in Egypt in five years    Egypt to be removed from England's red travel list on September 22    Jordan hosts energy meeting today to discuss transporting Egyptian gas to Lebanon    Russia permits airlines to resume flights from 49 cities to Egypt    Egypt's Abu Soma Development partners with KOMPASS Education    Sisi: coronavirus vaccines in Africa 'far less' than actual needs    Orange Egypt Introduces Amazon Prime Video    Tokyo Olympics: Cautious opening ceremony, shy start for Egyptians in competitions    Mallawi Museum in Upper Egypt holds recycling workshop for children during Eid Al-Adha    Egypt keen on stable tax policies to attract more investors: Finance Minister    Sudan declares state of emergency as water goes beyond Merowe Dam capacity    Niagara Falls illuminated in Egyptian flag to mark 23 July Revolution anniversary    Capital flows into EM keep recovering after March 2020 slump: Central Bank of Egypt    1 child orphaned every 12 seconds due to COVID-19-associated death: World Bank    Egypt, Japanese Olympic Committee discuss boosting sports cooperation    Ethiopia ready to resume dam talks with no legally binding agreements: Ethiopian official    US emphasises AU's role in mediating Ethiopian damdispute    Sunken city of Thônis-Heracleion in Egypt's Abu Qir bay yields new archaeological treasures    New films, concerts, and destinations for Eid Al-Adha holidays    Egypt, Oman discuss enhancing bilateral economic, investment relations    Al Ahly v Kaizer Chiefs: Cairo giants eye 10th CAF Champions League title    Tunisia hopes to have a UN role in resolving Egypt-Ethiopia dam dispute    Egypt denounces Ethiopia's move to start second filling of giant dam    APO Group enters new exclusive agreement with Getty Images on African press releases and images    On International Museum Day, Egypt opens two new museums at Cairo Airport    Egypt's Ahly is establishing a new stadium, expected to be 'sports complex'    Old Cairo's Al-Fustat will be revamped on Egyptian President's directives    







Thank you for reporting!
This image will be automatically disabled when it gets reported by several people.



Raging wildfire decimates Northern California town
Published in Ahram Online on 05 - 08 - 2021

A 3-week-old wildfire engulfed a Northern California mountain town, leaving much of the downtown in ashes, while a new wind-whipped blaze also destroyed homes as crews braced for another explosive run of flames in the midst of dangerous weather.

The Dixie Fire, swollen by bone-dry vegetation and 40 mph (64 kph) gusts, raged through the northern Sierra Nevada town of Greenville on Wednesday evening. A gas station, hotel and bar were among many structures gutted in the town, which dates to California's Gold Rush era and has some buildings more than a century old.

It wasn't immediately known how many buildings were lost, but photos and video from the scene indicate the destruction was widespread.

"We lost Greenville tonight," U.S. Rep. Doug LaMalfa, who represents the area, said in an emotional Facebook video. "There's just no words."

As the fire's north and eastern sides exploded, the Plumas County Sheriff's Office issued a Facebook posting warning the town's approximately 800 residents: "You are in imminent danger and you MUST leave now!"

The 3-week-old blaze was the state's largest wildfire and had blackened well over 435 square miles (1,127 square kilometers), burning dozens of homes before making its new run.

"We did everything we could," fire spokesman Mitch Matlow said. "Sometimes it's just not enough."

About 100 miles (160 km) to the south, officials said between 35 and 40 homes and other structures burned in the fast-moving River Fire that broke out Wednesday near Colfax, a town of about 2,000 residents. Within hours it ripped through more than 2 square miles (5 square kilometers) of dry brush and trees. There was no containment and about 6,000 people were under evacuation orders across Placer and Nevada counties, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

Early in the week, some 5,000 firefighters had made progress on the Dixie Fire, saving some threatened homes, bulldozing pockets of unburned vegetation and managing to surround a third of the perimeter.

More fire engines and bulldozers were being ordered to bolster the fight, Matlow said. On Wednesday, the fire grew by thousands of acres and an additional 4,000 people were ordered to evacuate, bringing nearly 26,500 people in several counties under evacuation orders, he said.

Red flag weather conditions of high heat, low humidity and gusty afternoon and evening winds erupted Wednesday and were expected to be a continued threat through Thursday evening.

The trees, grass and brush were so dry that "if an ember lands, you're virtually guaranteed to start a new fire," Matlow said.

The Dixie Fire was running parallel to a canyon area that served as a chimney, making it so hot that it created enormous pyrocumulus columns of smoke. These clouds bring chaotic winds, making a fire "critically erratic" so it's hard to predict the direction of growth, he added.

Dawn Garofalo fled with a dog and two horses from a friend's mountain property, and watched the soaring cloud grow from the west side of Lake Almanor.

"There's only one way in and one way out," she said Wednesday. "I didn't want to be stuck up there if the fire came through."

And about 150 miles (240 kilometers) to the west of the Dixie Fire, the lightning-sparked McFarland Fire threatened remote homes along the Trinity River in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest. The fire was only 5% contained after burning through nearly 25 square miles (65 square kilometers) of drought-stricken vegetation.

Similar risky weather was expected across Southern California, where heat advisories and warnings were issued for interior valleys, mountains and deserts for much of the week.

Heat waves and historic drought tied to climate change have made wildfires harder to fight in America's West. Scientists say climate change has made the region much warmer and drier in the past 30 years and will continue to make weather more extreme and wildfires more frequent and destructive.

More than 20,000 firefighters and support personnel were battling 97 large, active wildfires covering 2,919 square miles (7,560 square kilometers) in 13 U.S. states, the National Interagency Fire Center said.


Clic here to read the story from its source.