Covering more than 142,000 acres, the Dixie Fire is now California’s largest wildfire, Crews were making progress fighting the nation’s largest fire, the Bootleg Fire, and nearly 22,000 firefighters and prairie support staff were assigned to incidents across The country’s massive Dixie Fire in California exploded into a “huge fire” late Thursday, forcing more mandatory evacuations in nearby communities, fire officials said Friday. With an area of more than 221 square miles, it is now the largest wildfire in California. “The Dixie Fire is burning in a remote area with limited access, and long travel times in steep terrain are hampering control efforts,” Cal Fire said in a statement. “The fire will continue to expand rapidly, causing the need for vital resources to control and manage the incident.” “This fire beats us in moments,” the Dixie Fire incident leader Shannon Prather said Thursday night, the second major fire in the state this year. A fire becomes a massive conflagration when it exceeds 100,000 acres, which is about 156 square miles. KTLA-TV said the 105,000-acre Sugar Fire in Butte County received the designation days ago. Another California fire, the Tamarack Fire near Lake Tahoe, burned more than 78 square miles of national forest early Friday. The fire destroyed at least 10 buildings, and fire officials expected active or intense fires to occur Friday in the Tamarack fire due to afternoon winds and temperatures approaching 90 degrees. More: From clouds of fire to tornadoes, here’s how wildfires can create their own weather Meanwhile, up north in Oregon, crews were making progress battling the nation’s largest fire, the Bootleg Fire, as weak winds helped limit From the spread of flame there. Fire officials said the fire, which devastated an area half the size of Rhode Island, was 40% contained after burning about 70 homes, most of them cabins. Nationwide as of Friday morning, the National Interagency Fire Center said about 83 fires and a large complex were burning 1,366,587 acres, or roughly 2,135 square miles. “Nearly 22,000 firefighters and prairie support staff are in charge of accidents across the country,” the center said. Smoke from western fires continued to spread across the country on Friday, resulting in foggy skies and poor air quality in many areas. In northern Indiana, for example, the National Weather Service warned there that “high levels of fine particulate matter in the air due to smoke from the western United States and southern Canada are expected to be orange” or “unhealthy for sensitive groups” in the range. More: Friday’s Pak moon may appear red or orange due to bushfire smoke, and the Meteorological Service added that “people with respiratory conditions such as asthma avoid prolonged outdoor exposure or exertion.” Mounting research suggests. To the potential long-term health damage from inhaling microscopic smoke particles, millions of people are likely to be at risk far from where wildfires start.