As of Sunday, the fire had destroyed 463,477 acres (187,562 hectares), up from 447,723 acres the day before. It now covers an area larger than Los Angeles.
The Dixie Fire is the largest active wildfire in the United States, but it is one of 11 major wildfires in California.
Over the weekend, it overcame the 2018 Mendocino complex fire to make it the second worst fire in state history.
On Saturday, Governor Gavin Newsom visited the burning historic town of Greenville, expressing “deep gratitude” to the teams fighting the flames.
He said authorities had to provide more resources to manage forests and prevent fires.
But he added that “dry places are getting much drier, it’s hotter than ever … we must recognize that these are climate-induced wildfires.”
Climate change amplifies droughts that dry up regions, creating ideal conditions for wildfires to spread uncontrollably and inflict unprecedented material and environmental damage.
The Dixie fire, which left three firefighters injured on Saturday, remained 21 percent contained Sunday, unchanged from the previous day, the CalFire website reported.
Crews estimate that the fire, which started on July 13, will not be finally extinguished for another two weeks.
The weak winds and increased humidity have provided firefighters some help, but they are bracing for higher temperatures expected to exceed 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 Celsius) in the coming days.
Heavy smoke made driving dangerous for fire crews in some areas, and steep trails also made access difficult.
The eight largest wildfires in the state have occurred since December 2017. Still blackened scars from previous fires have helped Dixie Fire crews at times, reducing available fuel.
Thousands of residents have fled the area, many of whom have found temporary housing, even living in tents and often not knowing whether their homes have survived.
The Plumas County Sheriff’s Office said it was still searching for three people listed as missing, after two more were found over the weekend.
The Dixie Fire has already destroyed about 400 structures, destroying Greenville, and CalFire said workers and equipment were being deployed to save homes in the small town of Crescent Mills, three miles (five kilometers) southeast of Greenville.
More than 5,000 people are now fighting the Dixie fire.
Despite repeated evacuation orders from authorities, some residents have refused to flee, preferring to try to fight the fire on their own rather than leave their property.
In late July, California’s acreage burned increased more than 250 percent since 2020, itself the worst wildfire year in the state’s modern history.
A long-term drought that scientists say is driven by climate change has left much of the western United States and Canada parched and vulnerable to explosive and highly destructive fires.
A preliminary investigation has suggested that the Dixie fire started when a tree fell on a power cable owned by the regional utility company Pacific Gas & Company (PG&E), a private operator previously blamed for the Camp fire. Fire in 2018, which killed 86 people.