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California wildfire north of Lake Tahoe swells to 89,000 acres, more than 20 homes destroyed

APTOPIX California Wildfires
Posted at 12:57 PM, Jul 12, 2021

PLUMAS COUNTY, Calif. -- Firefighters working in record-breaking heat are battling the large Beckwourth Complex fire in Northern California near the Nevada border.

The wildfire is the combination of two lightning-sparked wildfires that started on June 30 and July 4near each other. It is burning about 50 miles northwest of Reno, and about 60 miles north of Lake Tahoe.

It has burned almost 90,000 acres, or more than 140 square miles, so far and destroyed more than 20 homes that officials know about. Damage assessments are still being done as hot spots are tackled.

Over the weekend, the fire consumed more than 20,000 acres and expanded across the state line into Nevada.

By Monday morning, fire officials say they have contained about 23% of the fire, mostly along the southern side.

The Beckwourth Complex is made up of the Dotta Fire and Sugar Fire, both started in or near Plumas National Forest. The U.S. Forest Service, who is overseeing the firefighting effort, says the Dotta Fire is roughly 99% contained and the Sugar Fire is only 8% contained.

The Beckwourth Complex is now the largest firefighting effort in California this year.

California, Oregon, Washington and Nevada are sitting under another dome of heat, pushing temperatures to or above records, drying out potential fuel for wildfires and causing dry lightning storms, which can spark more wildfires. Weather experts are predicting a cool down by mid-week.