"Our biggest nightmare": Dixie Fire destroys much of northern California town

·2 min read

Officials in the northern California town of Greenville on Thursday said they were at a loss for words to describe the widespread destruction left by the massive Dixie Fire, which razed businesses and homes Wednesday night.

What they're saying: "Our beloved small town of Greenville, CA faced our biggest nightmare," Plumas County Supervisor Kevin Goss wrote on Facebook. "Our historical buildings, families homes, small businesses, and our children's schools are completely lost."

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  • "Every square inch of downtown holds countless memories for each member of our small community and ample amount of history from our ancestors," he added. "I am at a loss for words and my heart goes out to everyone of you that suffered loss, evacuated and weary on what is to come."

Context: The extremely dry conditions in northern California are the result of a severe drought, which is the worst the West has seen so far this century, Axios' Andrew Freedman reports.

  • Studies show human-caused climate change is driving an increase in the likelihood and severity of heat waves and droughts, and is behind a trend toward larger wildfires in much of the West in recent years, Freedman adds.

In photos:

Flames rise from a building during the Dixie Fire near Chico in Greenville, California, on Aug. 5. Photo: Neal Waters/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The Dixie Fire sweeps through Greenville, California. Photo: Neal Waters/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Firefighters try to extinguish Dixie Fire near Chico in Greenville, California. Photo: Neal Waters/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The Dixie Fire near Greenville, California, on Aug. 5. Photo: Neal Waters/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Battalion Chief Sergio Mora looks on as the Dixie fire burns through downtown Greenville, Calif., on Aug. 4. Photo: Josh EdelsonAFP via Getty Images

Businesses burn as the Dixie fire tears through downtown Greenville, California, on Aug. 4. Photo: Josh Edelson/AFP via Getty Images

Vehicles and a building burn during the Dixie fire in downtown Greenville, California, on Aug. 4. Photo: Josh Edleson/AFP via Getty Images

Go deeper: California wildfire explodes in size, destroys historic town

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