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Wildfires Rage Across California and Utah

Lightning strikes and dry conditions have led to a dangerous situation.

By:  |  August 17, 2021  |    376 Words

Wildfires are causing devastation across Northern California and Utah, with many people being forced to leave their homes. Several fires have set the land ablaze, such as the Dixie Fire, the River Complex Fire, the McFarland Fire, and others.

Wind and lightning from dry thunderstorms have whipped up the blazes and contributed to the spread of the fires. The Dixie Fire in Northern California is now the country’s biggest active fire, burning across over 500,000 acres, including two national forests, a national park, and four counties. It’s the second-largest fire in California’s history and has been active for a month. The inferno has destroyed over 1,000 structures, including houses and other buildings, while another 74 have been damaged. A further 15,000 are under threat.

Other active fires in California have caused evacuation orders in several places, with more than 10,000 residents being affected. Around 10,000 firefighters are working to quell the blazes.

It’s unknown what caused each of the infernos, but some – such as the Antelope Fire and the McFarland Fire – are thought to have started due to lightning strikes.

firefighter

San Jose fire captain Brett Blean uses a chainsaw to cut down a tree that is on fire while battling the Dixie Fire (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Meanwhile, Parley’s Canyon Fire in Utah has spread across at least 2,500 acres, according to the state’s Department of Natural Resources. The Summit County Sherriff’s Office asked people to leave the area for their safety and at least 6,000 homes have been evacuated.

Utah Governor Spencer Cox said people could shelter at an evacuation center opened at a local high school. “We have been extremely blessed and lucky this fire season — but the #ParleysCanyonFire is big and dangerous,” he wrote on Facebook. “Please be careful and follow all evacuation orders. We’re all praying for the safety of our firefighters as the[y] work to protect homes and lives.”

Experts say the Utah fire was caused by sparks from a catalytic converter – a device attached to a vehicle’s exhaust for cleaning the fumes.

There are over 100 active fires across the country, including ten major ones in California. One of the latest additions, the Caldor Fire, was ignited on Saturday, August 14, and its fast growth has prompted more emergency evacuations.

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