A huge fire broke out overnight in a town in San Francisco, United States, Wednesday through Thursday, just hours after authorities ordered people to evacuate as the blaze approached.
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Greenville, a small town of about 800 inhabitants north of the state, was engulfed in flames of the Dixie Fire, a fire that engulfed California (western United States) for three weeks, followed by a torrential downpour, a severe drought and persistent winds.
“I would say the majority of downtown Greenville is completely devastated,” fire photographer Stuart Palli tweeted while posting disaster photos.
“My heart is broken for this wonderful little town,” he says.
“Firefighters are fighting for the city of Greenville,” U.S. Forest Service spokeswoman Pandora Valle told the San Francisco Chronicle Wednesday evening, without elaborating.
Pictures taken by an AFP photographer still have metal lamp posts and some rare structures bent in half by the heat of the fire.
The blaze reached Greenville around 4pm on Wednesday, according to Jake Cogley, section chief of the disaster management team.
In a video posted Wednesday evening, he said firefighters were being delayed due to non-compliance with evacuation orders, forcing them to dedicate time and resources to their assistance.
Nearly 2,000 California residents on Wednesday called for their homes to be “evacuated” as the Dixie Fire, California’s largest fire this year, approaches.
“If you stay, you must empty the East immediately!” The Plumas Country Sheriff’s Department tweeted to residents of the Greenville and Chester communities.
“If you’re still in the Greenville area, you’re in immediate danger and you should go now !!”, he said in a second warning message: “If you stay, emergency services may not come to your aid”.
Dixie fires have been raging in the forests of Northern California since mid-July, causing heat and drought to increase around the world, especially in North America.