The Dixie Fire has become the largest single fire in California's recorded history. State fire officials don't list it at the top, however. The record is held by the massive August Complex Fire of 2020 which burned over one million acres. The term "complex" is used when multiple fires in the same area ignite separately. Designating the fires as a complex allows them to be managed under a unified command.
The Dixie Fire ignited on July 13th, 2021 near Cresta Dam in the Feather River Canyon. Nine days later the Fly Fire started 3.5 miles north of Quincy eventually merging into the much larger Dixie Fire. Hot weather and strong winds spread the blaze across national forests and into Lassen Volcanic National Park.
These near-infrared and shortwave infrared images cut through smoke to highlight burned areas, while natural color versions of these scenes expose the massive amounts of smoke generated.