A pair of fast-moving wildfires in California have chewed through nearly 100,000 acres while spewing noxious smoke, generating pyrocumulus clouds, lightning and other dangerous weather conditions and adding to the state’s growing wildfire misery.
The five-day-old Dixie fire spanning Butte and Plumas counties has stymied fire crews as it continues to swell — doubling in size to 60,000 acres Tuesday with only 15% containment, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.
Pacific Gas & Electric said its utility equipment may have sparked the fire after an electric worker found two blown fuses and a tree leaning onto a power line conductor in the area near the ignition point of the blaze.
The fire Monday grew so volatile that it generated its own pyrocumulonimbus cloud, which created its own lightning, said Scott Rowe, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Sacramento.
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