We've Lost Greenville: Dixie Fire Burns Historic California Town

We've Lost Greenville: Dixie Fire Burns Historic California Town

It came like a hurricane. Dixie Fire engulfed the historic mining town of Greenville, California, swallowing everything in its path and turning it into hell.

"We lost Greenville tonight," Congressman Doug LaMalfa said in a Facebook video.

Historic Main Street has been reduced to rubble, and homes and businesses are charred beyond recognition. Some of the destroyed buildings dating back to the 19th century.

The Dixie Fire destroyed cars and homes on August 5, 2021, in Plumas County, California.

Firefighters battled the car through the smoke. Thick clouds of smoke still filled the air.

The Dixie Fire, the largest wildfire in California this year, covers more than 300,000 acres. The wildfire started last month but exploded this week. It was fueled by high temperatures, low humidity, and strong winds.

"The hardest part, I think, is not knowing what's going on and where it is. It just goes off so fast, you don't have time to react," said resident Brice Rhodes.

Fire Chief Sergio Mora surveyed the damage. "It's devastating," he said. 

Mora was there to provide safety for his fellow firefighters as they battled the flames. It was his twenty-third day on the job. When the fire swept through the city, the last thing he did was shut the doors of the fire station.

"I hope I never have to see this again. The post office is gone, the bank is gone, their library, their fire station, their matrimonial churches, a lot of people's homes, their livelihoods," he said.

California Wildfires

Flames from a Dixie Fire consume a home on Highway 89 south of Greenville on August 5, 2021, in Plumas County, California.

People on the California and Nevada border fled a river fire that caused fireballs more than three hours away. Some residents fled with only clothes on their backs.

"I have my family together, and that's what's important," said Laurie Barnes, another resident.

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