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Thousands flee California wildfire bigger than New York City as shocking pic show blaze destroying towns



THOUSANDS were forced to evacuate as a devastating wildfire that’s larger than New York City continues to rip through parts of California.

The Dixie Fire has already destroyed 278,000 acres and is only 35 percent contained as shocking pictures show intense flames leveling the town of Greenville.

AP
Devastating wildfires ripped through Greenville, California[/caption]
AP
Homes and forests were destroyed by the intense flames[/caption]

The blaze is burning around 250 miles northeast of San Francisco.

Around 2,400 people had evacuated their homes in Placer County and another 4,200 people were under evacuation orders in Nevada County.

And, at least 5,400 firefighters are tackling the raging inferno.

Homes were devastated as the blaze ripped through historic buildings and properties.

Striking images show a gas station, hotel, and bar burning to the ground.

Abandoned cars are covered in ash and firefighters have been pictured at the scene clearing debris.

It’s reported that 67 homes in Greenville have been destroyed since the blaze broke out on July 14. No injuries or deaths have been reported.

The blaze generated a towering smoke plume that was visible around at least 70miles away.

Fire chief Mike Wink said the column rose around 30,000 feet in the air.

Dawn Garofalo watched the cloud grow from the west side of the lake, where she fled with a dog and two horses, from a friend’s property near Greenville.

She said: “There’s only one way in and one way out. I didn’t want to be stuck up there if the fire came through.”

Pandora Valle, a spokesperson at the US Forest Service, told the San Francisco Chronicle that “firefighters are fighting for the town of Greenville”.

Residents were warned of bone-dry conditions and wind speeds of up to 40mph were forecast.

AP
Cars were covered in ash as power lines caught fire[/caption]
AP
Firefighters pictured clearing the debris as blazes continue to burn[/caption]

Crews are warning that the blaze could cause potentially more devastation.

Shannon Prather, of the US Forest Service, said: “I think we definitely have a few hard days ahead of us.”

Another wildfire, the so-called River Fire has torched around 1,400 acres in Placer and Nevada counties.

And, the McFarland Fire, which was sparked by a lightning strike, has threatened remote homes located in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest.

Heat warnings have been issued across Southern California for much of the week, especially in mountain and desert regions.

It’s reported that there are at least 25 active blazes in Montana, 21 in Idaho, and 13 in Oregon.

Meanwhile, there are at least 11 fires burning in California, according to the latest statistics.

RAGING INFERNOS

In Hawaii, crews gained control of the 160-square kilometer Mana Road blaze that had destroyed at least two homes on the island.

Last month, it was reported that more than 80 blazes raged across the West Coast.

The Bootleg Fire in Oregon has destroyed at least 400,000 acres of land but firefighters are said to making “good progress” as it is 84 percent contained, according to ABC7.

Experts warned of fire tornadoes as infernos destroyed more than 300,000 acres of land in Oregon and changed weather patterns.

Marcus Kauffman, of the state’s forestry department, said the intensity of the flames can cause the wind to go around it – creating swirling clouds of heat known as fire tornadoes.

Scientists feared that a megadrought could unleash a climate catastrophe as Americans continue to battle with the intense heat.

In July, temperatures in Las Vegas hit 117F and the mercury soared to 121F in Portland, Seattle, and Lytton – a small town in British Columbia.

The National Weather Service recorded that Washington state was in “exceptional drought” – the first time since the Drought Monitor began in 2000.

Forecasters define long periods of intense heat as a “heat dome”.

The atmosphere traps hot air like a cap and winds can move the dome around which is why it’s known as a heatwave.

The high-pressure system is slow-moving as the dome rises into the atmosphere.

AP
The blaze destroyed a gas station in Greenville[/caption]
AP
Parts of California have been ravaged by wildfires[/caption]
AP
Wildfires have become a common phenomenon as the West Coast has seen relentless temperatures[/caption]

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