A dry state

Lake Oroville, near the Bidwell Bar Suspension Bridge on Aug. 19, 2021. (Photo by Ashiah Scharaga)

A drought-stricken Lake Oroville was barely visible through smoky skies on Thursday (Aug. 19) from a vantage point off Oro Quincy Highway. Air quality reached unhealthy levels in Butte County due to smoke from multiple wildfires, including the Dixie Fire, which is the second largest wildfire in state history. The Dixie Fire has burned 678,369 acres and destroyed 1,217 structures across five Northern California counties thus far and is 35 percent contained. 

Due to drought conditions in California, Lake Oroville is at its lowest level ever, currently sitting at just under 634 feet above sea level and at less than 25 percent capacity.

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