Photos show scorched earth and destruction as California battles one of the largest wildfires in state history

This Saturday, July 24, 2021, a firefighter walks past a burning house as the Dixie fire flares up in Plumas County, California. AP Photo / Noah Berge, File
The 15th largest forest fire in the state's history is currently blazing through Northern California.
The Dixie fire destroyed several buildings over the weekend and threatened thousands more.
Photos from across the state show the destruction wrought by the ongoing fires.
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More than a dozen homes and lots were destroyed this weekend as one of the largest forest fires in California history continues to blaze on nearly 200,000 acres of land in the northern part of the state.
Hot temperatures and high winds have puffed up the Dixie Fire through Counties Butte and Plumas, making it the largest raging wildfire in the state this year. On Sunday evening, it became the 15th largest forest fire in the state's history, the Los Angeles Times reported.
The Dixie Fire, which had already reached "mega fire" status last week, merged with the smaller Fly Fire over the weekend as it broke through more land across California amid drought conditions.
By Monday, 22% of the fire was contained and its rate of growth was starting to slow down, according to an incident report. However, conditions are expected to worsen in the coming days.
The recent heat waves and drought in the west have triggered several other forest fires in the region and made fighting conditions difficult for the emergency services.
The Dixie Fire destroyed more than a dozen homes and properties in Northern California over the weekend.
This Saturday, July 24, 2021, a firefighter walks past a burning house as the Dixie fire flares up in Plumas County, California. AP Photo / Noah Berge, File
Governor Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency for four counties on Friday as the raging fire and suffocating smoke also led to evacuation orders in several nearby communities.
The possibility of dry lightning and unpredictable winds have increased the risk of mega-fire when firefighters fight the flames.
More than 5,400 employees are fighting the combined Dixie and Fly fires around the clock, the Los Angeles Times reported.
More than 10,720 buildings are still at risk from the Dixie fire, a Ventura County fire department official who is on the Dixie fire management team at the California Department of Forestry and Fire Safety told the Los Angeles Times.
After the Dixie Fire, burned cars are seen in a clearing in the Indian Falls community of Plumas County, California on Sunday, July 25, 2021. AP Photo / Noah Berger
The number of buildings destroyed is expected to increase as emergency services assess the damage on the ground, particularly in the Indian Falls community of Plumas County, which was devastated by the fire over the weekend.
The heavy smoke from the fire actually helped the firefighters over the weekend, providing shade and limiting heat exposure, a meteorologist said during a Sunday briefing.
Firefighters watch flames burst from a propane tank as the Dixie fire raged through the Indian Falls community in Plumas County, California on Saturday, July 24, 2021. AP Photo / Noah Berger
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However, incoming winds from the southwest on Monday are expected to clear that smoke and create even more dangerous conditions, said Julia Ruthford, a meteorologist for the Dixie fire incident.
Drier and warmer air will heat the flames and bring the emergency services to windier conditions.
Expected thunderstorms later in the week could create dangerous conditions for two fires in the area.
A fire train crosses a bridge while the Dixie Fire burns in Plumas County, California on Saturday, July 24, 2021. AP Photo / Noah Berger
The fire department warned that storms could trigger unpredictable winds and lightning that could ignite new flames.
Rescue workers have made some progress on the Tamarack fire that burns in Alpine and Douglas Counties.
Firefighters fight the Tamarack Fire in the Markleeville community of Alpine County, California on Saturday, July 17, 2021. AP Photo / Noah Berger
Evacuation orders from the Tamarack fire near the California and Nevada border were lifted after the fire department contained the 67,000 acre fire to 45% overnight.
According to the National Interagency Fire Center, nearly 90 fires had burned in 13 states as of Sunday.
Cal Fire firefighters battle the Dixie Fire near Prattville in Plumas County, California on Friday, July 23, 2021. AP Photo / Noah Berger
California firefighters traveled to Montana on Saturday to help fight forest fires in the state, Governor Greg Gianforte said.
Firefighters step on the gas as they battle the Dixie Fire in the community of Greenville, Plumas County, California on Friday, July 23, 2021. AP Photo / Noah Berger
Scientists say the recent climate change-related heatwaves made fighting the fires much more difficult.
Firefighters set off a misfire on Friday, July 23, 2021 to stop the spread of the Dixie Fire near Prattville in Plumas County, California. AP Photo / Noah Berger
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