California wildfires merge into monster blaze as more homes razed

·3 min read

California's biggest wildfire merged with another blaze as it razed homes in a remote region in the state's north Sunday.

The big picture: The Dixie Fire, which erupted July 14 near the origin of the deadly 2018 Camp Fire in Butte County, is one of 86 large wildfires burning across the U.S. West.

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Details: The monster fire is now burning with the Fly Fire, which ran to the top of Mt. Hough in the neighboring Plumas County and was "expected to back down the mountain to the northeast," per Cal Fire.

  • The blaze razed "dozens" of homes and other structures as it ripped through the Plumas County community of Indian Falls overnight, per AP.

  • The Dixie Fire has burned across almost 191,000 acres in the two counties and was 21% contained as of Sunday.

Of note: Utah and California have both sent crews to help with firefighting efforts in Montana, where a wildfire wounded five firefighters Friday — despite the two states facing blazes of their own.

  • Australia this week sent a large air tanker to help firefighters in California, where Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) proclaimed a state of emergency Friday for the counties of Plumas, Butte, Lassen and Alpine due to the fires.

By the numbers: Large wildfires were burning across almost 1.5 million acres in the U.S. as of Sunday, according to the National Interagency Fire Center.

  • Idaho had the most large fires (23), followed by Montana (20), Washington state Washington (10), California (nine), Oregon (seven) and Alaska (six.).

  • There were also four large fires in Wyoming, two apiece in Arizona and Utah, and one each in Colorado, Nevada, and Minnesota.

In photos: Scenes from some of the worst fires raging in the U.S.

Firefighters on the scene as dozens of homes burn during the Dixie Fire in the Indian Falls neighborhood of unincorporated Plumas County, California, on July 24. Photo: Josh Edelson/AFP via Getty Images

A helicopter drops water over the Devils Creek Fire in Montana July 22, when the federal firefighters were injured after a "sudden wind shift blew the wildfire back over their position as they were constructing a defensive fire line on the perimeter" of the blaze, per the Bureau of Land Management. Photo: BLM - Montana/Dakotas/Facebook

Fire crews work to contain the Tamarack Fire near Markleeville, Calif., July 21. The blaze along the California-Nevada state line has razed 65,152 acres and was 4% contained as of July 24. Photo: Ty O'Neil/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

A National Guard Humvee at a closed juncture on July 24 during the Bootleg Fire, near Lakeside, Oregon — the biggest blaze in the U.S. It has burned 408,248 acres and was 46% as of July 24. The spread has been curtailed amid a reduction in "general winds and shading of fuels from an inversion," Inciweb notes. Photo: Maranie Staab/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Resident Pamela Aylen and her husband, Dan, at their home in a rural part of Twain, Calif., on July 24, have ignored an evacuation order over the Dixie Fire, saying: "If we're going to get taken out, we're going out swinging." Photo: Josh Edelson/AFP via Getty Images

The sun sets behind the Grand Teton peak, shrouded in smoke from regional wildfires July 14 at Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. Climate change-related drought and heat waves have dried out vegetation to levels not typically seen prior to late summer, Axios' Andrew Freedman notes. Photo: Natalie Behring/Getty Images

Go deeper: Next heat dome to build across Lower 48, aggravating drought, fires

Editor's note: This article has been updated with more details on the Dixie Fire, to reflect the latest large fire numbers and with an additional photo.

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