The Dixie Fire, which despite its massive burn scar has so far been mostly burning through uninhabited forest in Butte and Plumas counties, continues raging in the area of Indian Falls, and the full extent of the damage won't be clear for a day or two.
As of Sunday, the Dixie Fire had become the largest fire burning in California and had moved into small mountain community of Indian Falls — a census-designated-place in Plumas County about 13 miles north of Quincy with a 2010 population of 54 — burning 16 homes as it merged with the smaller Fly Fire on Saturday.
As the Associated Press reported Tuesday, gusty winds made containment more difficult in the last 24 hours, and the full extent of the damage in Indian Falls hasn't been finalized. The Cal Fire incident page says that 31 structures have been destroyed in total, but the true number of homes and businesses remains unknown.
"Fire behavior has been so unpredictable, it hasn’t been safe for inspectors to go in to work," says Mitch Matlow, an EMS field coordinator based out of San Jose, speaking to the AP. "Until things settle down, we won’t know the extent of what’s burned."
As of Tuesday morning, according to Cal Fire, the Dixie Fire was 23% contained, and it has scorched 208,200 acres, or 325 square miles. It was creating pyrocumulus clouds, which can produce their own lightning, and smoke from the fire had begun inundating the Lake Tahoe basin on Monday — a situation that may have contributed to the crash of a small plane near the Truckee airport.
The Dixie Fire began on July 14, and has now been burning for two weeks.
Top image: A burned out car sits in front of a home that was destroyed by the Dixie Fire on July 26, 2021 in Indian Falls, California. The Dixie Fire, currently the largest wildfire in California, has burned nearly 200,000 acres and destroyed at least 20 structures. The fire is 22 percent contained. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)