3 missing as huge California fire rages. Some armed residents tell authorities they won’t evacuate.
Authorities were searching for three people as the Dixie Fire, the biggest wildfire in the U.S., tore through Northern California communities, authorities said Saturday night.
Details: Evacuation orders were in effect for several Sierra Nevada mountain communities, as the blaze continued to threaten homes. Greg Hagwood, a Plumas County supervisor, said some residents under evacuation orders “who have guns” told law enforcement: “‘Get off my property and you are not telling me to leave,'” per the Los Angeles Times.
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Plumas County Sheriff Todd Johns told a community meeting Saturday night that two people from Greenville were missing and a woman from nearby Chester had been reported safe, but no official contact had been made with authorities.
The third-largest blaze in California’s history was also raging across Butte, Lassen, and Tehama counties.
What they’re saying: California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) said in a video after visiting Greenville on Saturday that the Gold mining-era town had been “been completely destroyed” by the Dixie Fire.
By the numbers: The Dixie Fire had burned across almost 448,000 acres and was 21% contained, authorities said at Saturday night’s community meeting.
Context: The U.S. West in the grip of a severe drought — the worst to hit the region so far this century, per Axios’ Andrew Freedman
Studies show human-caused climate change is driving an increase in the likelihood and severity of heat waves and droughts and, consequently, wildfires, Freedman notes.
Go deeper: Judge says PG&E must explain role in Dixie Fire
Editor’s note: This article has been updated with comment from Newsom and to reflect the increase in land burned and that Johns said three people were missing, down from five.
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