Firefighters have only been able to contain 32% of the flames of "Dixie," which would have been originated from fuses in the lousy condition of an electrical company.
On Sunday, the massive fire in northeastern California surpassed 99,000 burned hectares and is already the eleventh largest ever recorded in the state's history.
The fire, which has been baptized as " Dixie " by the authorities, was declared on July 14, and the more than 5,500 personnel who work in it have only been able to contain it by 32%, reported the Department of Forestry and Protection against California fires (Cal Fire).
Although the investigation into the cause of the fire is still open, the central hypothesis being worked on is that of a failure in the electrical network.
According to the documentation provided to the California Public Supply Commission, a PG&E operator was repairing an incident on a power line in the region when he observed how bad fuses at the top of a tower had started a fire in the understory.
PG&E (as Pacific Gas & Electric is popularly known) is the largest electricity supplier in the US, supplying power to virtually the entire central and northern California population.
The fire brings back the worst memories for residents of nearby Paradise, a city devastated by the deadliest wildfire in California history in 2018, which killed 85 people and started with a power outage. PG&E
The high temperatures of these days trigger the demand for electrical energy (mainly due to air conditioners), Which increases the pressure on the network and, combined with the extreme dryness of the region, creates a very favorable scenario for fire.
With unpredictable winds and extremely dry fuels, the risk of outbreaks is high, officials warned.
Outside of California, in the neighboring state of Oregon, which is currently the largest fire in the United States, is still active. Was
The flames have already calcined more than 167,000 hectares. Still, firefighters have made significant progress in recent days and have it contained by 84%, according to the last update on Sunday, almost 30 points more than on Saturday. Firefighter's spokesman Al Nash said it reflected several days of fieldwork in which staff had strengthened and built additional containment lines.
The National Intelligence Fire Center said about 22,000 firefighters and support personnel were battling 91 large forest fires covering 2,813 square miles (7,285 square kilometers) in most western states.
A historic drought and recent heatwaves related to climate change have made wildfires more challenging to fight in the American West. Climate change has made the region extremely hot and dry over the past 30 years and will continue to produce more severe weather and more frequent and devastating forest fires, scientists say.