Photos show scorched earth and destruction as California battles one of the largest wildfires in state history

The sillouhette of a firefighter stands in front of a burning home.
In this Saturday, July 24, 2021, file photo a firefighter passes a burning home as the Dixie Fire flares in Plumas County, Calif. AP Photo/Noah Berge,File
  • The 15th largest wildfire in state history is currently blazing through Northern California.
  • The Dixie fire destroyed multiple structures over the weekend and is threatening thousands more.
  • Photos from across the state show the destruction wrought by the ongoing fires.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

More than a dozen homes and properties were destroyed this weekend as one of the largest wildfires in California history continues to blaze through nearly 200,000 acres of land across the Northern part of the state.

Hot temperatures and high winds have ballooned the Dixie fire through Butte and Plumas counties, making it the largest raging wildfire in the state this year. On Sunday night, it became the 15th largest wildfire in the state’s history, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The Dixie fire, which had already achieved “mega fire” status last week, merged with the smaller Fly fire, over the weekend as it blazed through more land amid drought conditions throughout California.

As of Monday, 22% of the fire had been contained and its speed of growth was beginning to slow, according to an incident report. But conditions are expected to worsen in the coming days.

Recent heatwaves and dry conditions across the West have spurred several other wildfires in the region and made fighting conditions difficult for responders.

The Dixie fire destroyed more than a dozen homes and properties in Northern California over the weekend.
The sillouhette of a firefighter stands in front of a burning home.
In this Saturday, July 24, 2021, file photo a firefighter passes a burning home as the Dixie Fire flares in Plumas County, Calif. AP Photo/Noah Berge,File
Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency for four counties on Friday as the raging fire and stifling smoke led to evacuation orders in multiple communities nearby as well. 

The possibility of dry lightning and unpredictable winds have added to the mega-fire’s danger as firefighters battle the flames.

More than 5,400 personnel are fighting the combined Dixie and Fly fires around the clock, the Los Angeles Times reported. 

More than 10,720 structures are still being threatened by the Dixie fire, a Ventura County fire official, who is on the Dixie fire management team for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, told the Los Angeles Times.
A scorched car sits in the forest.
Following the Dixie Fire, scorched cars are seen in a clearing in the Indian Falls community of Plumas County, Calif., on Sunday, July 25, 2021. AP Photo/Noah Berger
The number of destroyed structures is expected to grow as responders assess the damage on the ground, especially in the Indian Falls community of Plumas County, which was ravaged by the fire over the weekend.

 

Heavy smoke from the fire actually helped firefighters over the weekend, providing shade and limiting heat exposure, a meteorologist said during a Sunday briefing.
Firefighters watch a fire in front of a fire truck.
Firefighters watch flames burst from a propane tank as the Dixie Fire tears through the Indian Falls community in Plumas County, Calif., on Saturday, July 24, 2021. AP Photo/Noah Berger
But incoming winds from the southwest on Monday are expected to clear out that smoke and create even more dangerous conditions moving forward, Dixie fire incident meteorologist Julia Ruthford said.

Drier and warmer air will stoke the blaze and bring windier conditions for responders. 

Expected thunderstorms throughout the week could bring dangerous conditions to two fires in the region.
A fire train drives through the smoke and haze.
A fire train crosses a bridge as the Dixie Fire burns in Plumas County, Calif., on Saturday, July 24, 2021. AP Photo/Noah Berger
Fire officials warned that storms could spark unpredictable winds and lighting that could spark new blazes. 

 

Emergency crews have made some progress on the Tamarack fire, which is burning through Alpine and Douglas counties.
A fire truck in front of a blazing fire.
Firefighters battle the Tamarack Fire in the Markleeville community of Alpine County, Calif., on Saturday, July 17, 2021. AP Photo/Noah Berger
Evacuation orders from the Tamarack fire near the California-Nevada border were lifted after firefighters contained the 67,000-acre blaze to 45% overnight.
Almost 90 fires have burned across 13 states as of Sunday, according to the National Interagency Fire Center.
Multiple firefighters walk through the forest.
Cal Fire firefighters battle the Dixie Fire near Prattville in Plumas County, Calif., on Friday, July 23, 2021. AP Photo/Noah Berger
Fire crews from California went to Montana on Saturday, to assist with wildfire fighting in the state, Gov. Greg Gianforte announced.
Emergency crews gas up against an orange sky.
Firefighters gas up while battling the Dixie Fire in the Greenville community of Plumas County, Calif., on Friday, July 23, 2021. AP Photo/Noah Berger
 

 

 

Scientists say recent heat waves tied to climate change have made fighting the fires much more difficult.
Two firefighters stand in front of a burning tree.
Firefighters light a backfire to stop the Dixie Fire from spreading near Prattville in Plumas County, Calif., on Friday, July 23, 2021. AP Photo/Noah Berger