California battles mega-fire

Ignited by lightning on July 2, the Sugar fire has expanded beyond 100,000 acres and is 68% contained.


National News

July 16, 2021 - 2:40 PM

Raymond Vasquez of Wildfire Defense Systems insurance surveys a property during the Salt fire south of Lakehead, California on July 2, 2021. (Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty Images/TNS)

LOS ANGELES – As the Dixie fire in Butte County balloons in size, the Sugar fire burning in Plumas National Forest north of Sacramento has become the first 100,000-acre fire in California this year.

The lightning-sparked Sugar fire ignited July 2 and quickly swelled in size as crews battled extreme temperatures and strong gusts of wind.

In the days that followed, spot fires and flare-ups made it difficult for firefighters to gain a footing on the blaze, officials said. At one point, it grew with such velocity that its massive cloud of smoke, ash and heat generated its own lightning.

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