The town center of Greenville in northeastern California was almost completely destroyed tonight after a huge forest fire raging in the area over the past three weeks destroyed dozens of residential buildings and businesses.
The Dixie fire reached the town in the afternoon and destroyed almost all of the buildings in downtown Greenville and nearby neighborhoods. Photographs from the area showed sooty and ruined buildings, power poles melting from the intensity of the flames and thick smoke that still enveloped the town center. “As far as I understand, we lost everything in Greenville,” said Theresa Clark, one of the residents. “It’s just devastating,” another resident added. “It reached all the residents.”
The town, home to about a thousand people, has been under evacuation order in recent days, but there were residents who decided to stay despite the danger. As soon as the flames approached, the sheriff’s office of Plomas begged anyone who remained in the town to leave immediately. “If you’re still in the Greenville area, you’re in immediate danger!”, A Facebook post said. “If you stay, emergency forces may not be able to help you.”
This is not the first time Greenville has faced a similar disaster. In 1881, a huge fire broke out that destroyed most of the northern part of the town’s main street and caused damage in the southern part. However, the town was quickly restored and already the following year 500 residents lived there.
The Dixie fire, the largest in California this year and one of the largest of all time, erupted three weeks ago near a power plant in the Pythar Valley Mall, when a preliminary investigation revealed that apparently a spark from the station caused the fire to ignite. To date, it has scorched more than 1.2 million acres and the strong winds blowing in the area continue to ignite the flames and help them move forward despite the efforts of firefighters.