Mike McMilla | U.S. Forest Service
California Gov. Gavin Newsom, issued a major disaster declaration on Aug. 23, due to four major wildfires going on within the state, to President Joe Biden. In particular, the Dixie fire is the second largest wildfire in state history. The fire burned away more than 963,276 acres of California wildlife and over 1,300 structures, including homes and commercial buildings.
“We’re also working to make sure that we’re resetting,” Cal Fire Director Tom Porter told CNN. “Getting our own people home and rested so we can sustain this fight. This is a marathon.”
The fires have caused the closure of nine national forests in California. As of Sept. 21, the fire has been 94% contained and has been burning for 70 days. Recently, the life of a fire engine operator, Marcus Pacheco, who was stationed at the Dixie Fire, died from COVID-19 on Sept. 2. It is still under investigation whether or not the illness came from the fire or was an outside source. As far as we know, it is the only confirmed fatality.