The Dixie Fire in California has grown by nearly 70,000 acres in one night to become the largest active blaze in the United States.
The out-of-control blaze has swept through the Gold Rush-era towns of Greenville and Rush Bar in Northern California on Wednesday on its way to becoming the third-largest fire in Californian history.
On Thursday night, the Dixie fires had burned through more than 361,000 acres, according to Cal Fire.
By Friday morning, it had scorched more than 432,000 acres and destroyed 90 buildings, and is still only 35 per cent contained.
The Bootleg Fire in Oregon, the previous largest in the US, has burned 413,765 acres and is now 87 per cent contained.
Six of the state’s 10 largest wildfires have occurred in the past 12 months, according to data compiled by Fire CA.
The August Complex blaze in August 2020, which destroyed more than one million acres of land and nearly 1000 buildings, is the largest.
The Dixie fire is being fuelled by high winds, low humidity and record-high temperatures in the Sunshine State.
Meteorologists have said the state’s historic drought, the result of climate change, means wildfires will become more severe.
On Wednesday, the Plumas County Sheriff’s Office ordered residents to flee immediately.
“If you are still in the Greenville area, you are in imminent danger and you MUST leave now!!” it wrote on Facebook.
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