“Given this wind event and current conditions including extreme to exceptional drought and extremely dry vegetation, PG&E has begun sending 48-hour advance notifications to customers in targeted areas where PG&E may need to proactively turn power off for safety to reduce the risk of wildfire from energized power lines,” a statement said.
The Dixie Fire was among 97 large, active wildfires burning in the United States on Monday, the National Interagency Fire Center said. More than 25,000 firefighters, support personnel and management teams were assigned to the blazes.
California was dealing with several other massive fires, including one that started on Saturday southeast of the Dixie Fire in El Dorado County that had grown to more than 4.5 square miles (12 square kilometers) and prompted evacuations.
The U.S. Forest Service said last week that it is operating in crisis mode, with more than double the number of firefighters deployed than at the same time a year ago.
The fires were also taking a toll on wildlife.
Near Taylorsville, California, some firefighters on Sunday were monitoring a bear cub who was possibly orphaned in the Dixie Fire. The emaciated cub was awaiting extraction from the fire-scarred area by a wildlife rescue team.
“Generally if you see them with a sow or a mother bear, they’ll stay with the mother bear and run off,” said firefighter Johnnie Macy, who was deployed from Golden, Colorado. “This bear hasn’t done that, so because of that we think that the bear’s orphaned as a result of the fire.”