(SAN FRANCISCO) A massive fire ravaged a northern California town overnight from Wednesday to Thursday, just hours after authorities ordered residents to evacuate as the fire approached.
The small town of Greenville of about 800 residents in the north of the state was inundated with the Dixie Fire, a fire that ravaged California for three weeks, fueled by intense heat, irritating drought and persistent winds.
“I would say the majority of downtown Greenville is completely destroyed,” fire photographer Stuart Bally wrote on Twitter and posted photos of the disaster.
“My heart is broken for this wonderful little town,” he adds.
“Firefighters are fighting for the town of Greenville,” US Forest Service spokeswoman Pandora Valley told the newspaper on Wednesday night. San Francisco Chronicle, without going into further details.
Images by an AFP photographer show metal light poles bent in half by the heat of the flames, and some rare buildings still stand.
The fire reached Greenville at about 4 p.m. Wednesday, according to Jake Cagle, the division’s chief of the disaster management team.
In a video posted on Wednesday evening, he said firefighters are being delayed due to people not complying with evacuation orders, forcing them to devote time and resources to providing them with assistance.
2,000 Californians were called on Wednesday to evacuate their homes “immediately” as the Dixie Fire, California’s biggest fire of the year, approaches.
“If you stay, you must evacuate East immediately!” The Plumas Country Police Department tweeted, addressing residents of the communities of Greenville and Chester.
“If you are still in the Greenville area, you are in immediate danger and must go now!” ! “If you stay, emergency services may not be able to help you,” he added in a second alert message.
The Dixie Fire has been raging in the forests of Northern California since mid-July, in connection with the climate crisis, which is causing peaks of heat and drought around the world, especially in North America.
“Extreme twitteraholic. Passionate travel nerd. Hardcore zombie trailblazer. Web fanatic. Evil bacon geek.”