California Gold Rush town ‘obliterated’ by state’s biggest rapidly spreading fire

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The largest wildfire currently burning in California referred to as the Dixie Fire, has destroyed nearly all of the historic Gold Rush town of Greenville.

The estimated 800 residents of the northern California community were told to evacuate before the blaze tore through the downtown area.

Officials say some people might not have heeded the order to go away. There are no reports of deaths or injuries.

The three-week-old Dixie Fire is now the eighth largest in state history.

Pictures from the scene show tall trees that have caught ablaze, and structures that are scorched and hollowed out by flames.

One photographer tweeted a photograph of a metal light pole that had melted thanks to the extreme heat.

Firefighters had been working for days to fight back the blaze. But on Wednesday night, it broke through the road and swept into the downtown area.

“We lost Greenville tonight,” said Congressman Doug LaMalfa, who represents the region. “There’s just no words.”

The fire now covers around 322,000 square acres and was only 35% contained as of Thursday morning. Dozens of structures, including homes, are burned.

Climate change increases the danger of the recent, dry weather that’s likely to fuel wildfires.

The world has already warmed by about 1.2C since the economic era began and temperatures will keep rising unless governments around the world make steep cuts to emissions.

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