How a drone helped make Dixie Fire second-largest in California’s history

Dixie Fire, which first ignited around July 13, is now considered the second-largest recorded wildfire in California’s history. It has so far burned more than 480,000 acres and is only 21% contained, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection aka Cal Fire. This has prompted a judge to order an investigation into a drone that appeared over the blaze on the day of ignition, forcing Cal Fire to end air operations prematurely.

What should have remained a minor incident has turned into an unstoppable inferno with a series of delays and obstacles coming together to create the perfect storm. So now, Federal Probation judge William Alsup has given utility company PG&E one week to explain its role in potentially starting the Dixie Fire which, along with Fly Fire, has destroyed hundreds of structures and forced thousands from their homes in Northern California.

How Dixie Fire grew out of control

PG&E told regulators last month that the…