A wildfire, growing to become the 3rd largest in the history of California, has leveled most of its downtown and gutted several houses in the Gold Rush-era Greenville community. Pushed by intense winds and dry vegetation, the Dixie Fire devastated several houses Wednesday in the northern Sierra community of Greenville.
Executive Director Shelton Douthit, along with his team at the non-profit Feather River Land Trust in Quincy, California, have been striving to protect Indigenous artifacts and restore the lush natural habitat around Lake Almanor.
The Dixie Fire was still raging on Friday and now spread around an area of 1751 square kilometers. Fortunately, no injuries or fatalities were reported; however, the fire maintained to threaten over ten thousand houses on Friday. Moreover, it is only 35 percent contained.
Medical offices, the museum, fire equipment, and structures significant to a Native U.S. tribe were lost in the town of nearly a thousand. A gas station, hotel, church, and bar were among the fixtures devastated in the town dating back to the Gold Rush-era of California, where several wooden structures were over a century old.
Douthit said that fire is so fierce that he thinks we are learning as a community, as a region, that this isn’t a normal fire. That fire is a beast.
Evacuation Orders as Fire Spreads Swiftly
Kevin Goss, Plumas County Supervisor, wrote on Facebook that the fire burnt down their whole downtown. Their historical structures, small businesses, homes, and their children’s educational institutes are entirely lost.
A lifelong Greenville resident Tom Johns, Plumas County Sheriff, said that more than a hundred homes were gutted and businesses. He said that his heart is crushed by what has happened there.
In an emotional video on Facebook, Doug LaMalfa, United States Representative, said that they completely lost Greenville tonight, and there’s just no words.
I’d say the majority of downtown Greenville is completely destroyed. All I see standing on the main st. Is a dollar general. My heart is broken for this beautiful little town. #dixiefire pic.twitter.com/G8kVMZdanF
— Stuart Palley (@stuartpalley) August 5, 2021
As the fire’s east and northern sides exploded, the office of the Plumas County Sheriff issued an urgent caution online to about eight hundred residents of the town; they are in imminent peril, and they must leave. Furthermore, a similar alert was issued on Thursday as flames pushed toward Taylorville, around ten miles southeast of Greenville.
CalFire said approximately 160 kilometers south; officials stated around forty homes and other structures scorched in rapid River Fire that broke out near Colfax, a town of nearly two thousand. Within hours, it ripped through about ten square kilometers of trees. Nearly six thousand people were ordered to leave in Nevada and Placer counties. Unfortunately, there was no containment.