Belarus Olympian describes Tokyo ordeal after arriving in Poland

A three-week-old wildfire engulfed a tiny Northern California mountain town, wiping out historic buildings and 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 on Thursday in the midst of dangerous weather.

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

Plumas County Supervisor Kevin Goss wrote on Thursday on Facebook that the fire “burnt down our entire downtown. Our historical buildings, families homes, small businesses, and our children’s schools are completely lost.”

Officials could not immediately say how many buildings were razed, but photos and video from the scene indicate the destruction was widespread.

“We lost Greenville tonight,” US Representative 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 on Wednesday, the Plumas County Sheriff’s Office issued a warning online to the town’s approximately 800 residents: “You are in imminent danger and you MUST leave now!”

The growing blaze that broke out on July 21 was the state’s largest current wildfire and had blackened more than 1,305sq km (504sq miles). It had burned 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 160km (100 miles) to the south, officials said between 35 and 40 homes and other structures burned in the fast-moving River Fire that broke out on Wednesday near Colfax, a town of about 2,000 residents. Within hours it ripped through nearly 10sq km (4sq miles) 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.

Related Articles

Back to top button