California Dixie Fire Engulfing Most of Northern California

100 Other Smaller Fires Spread Across 15 States in the West Coast.


Kasia Jackson, Reporter

Are brush fires beginning to be a yearly thing in California? Well, it seems to be with another year of a horrific scene of thousands of acres burning down. The Dixie Fire is said to be the 2nd largest in California history. It started in a mountain range in Sierra Vista, California on July 13th. This fire and many other “blazes” spread across 15 states. It is suspected that the fire started due to a tree crashing into a power line. Not only are faulty power lines causing these fires, but college professor, Gary Maynard, has been accused of being a “mentally unstable” fire starter.

Dixie Fire has desecrated acres and acres, causing tons of evacuations and poor air quality. Bill Chappell from NPR reports, “It is currently 21% contained.” Almost 500,000 acres have burned so far, and many are concerned that this amount might grow. There is uncertainty as to when the fire might be contained, but officials hope it’s by August 20th. There are reported to be “100 large blazes across 15 states” according to AP.

Dixie Fire places second in the size of wildfires ever in California. The August complex fire, that occurred in 2020, is twice the size of the Dixie Fire. The 2020 fire was caused by lightning, and this was California’s record breaking wildfire, burning up to 1 million acres.

It seems to be -possibly- yet again, faulty electrical system by Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) that caused this fire. This is PG&E’s second wildfire that they have been in fault of/accused of starting, including one previously, the 2018 California fire in Paradise, which started at a camp site. This year’s 2021 fire started in a Mountain Range in Sierra Vista, California. It is suspected that when a tree fell onto one of PG&E’s power lines, it caused a huge spark leading to the disaster we are currently dealing with.

Gary Maynard, a former college professor of University of Santa Clara is being charged with arson. There have been reports of Maynard starting several other fires, contributing to this already disastrous occurrence. A Kia Soul car, registered to Maynard was found near one of the fire sites in Shasta-Trinity National Forest, “which was ultimately linked to several other fires in Northern California” according to Jason Green. A second car found at the National Forest also near the fire site was questioned. According to Green that man stated, “he believed Maynard was mentally unstable…” and witnessed Maynard’s actions before the fire: “Maynard walked in its direction before it ignited.” Maynard has been found to be linked to at least,six other fires that occurred between July 11th to August 7th in California.

The status of global warming is not helping these fires one bit. “Scientists have said climate change has made the region much warmer and drier in the past 30 years and will continue to make the weather more extreme and wildfires more frequent and destructive” according to AP.