Dixie Fire burns more than 60,000 acres, remains 15% contained

Local News

The Latest – Tuesday, July 20:

7:18 p.m.

Cal Fire officials have confirmed the Dixie Fire has now burned 61,376 acres.

Original story below.

BUTTE COUNTY, Calif. (KTXL) — Cal Fire crews are continuing their efforts to contain the Dixie Fire along the burn scar of the disastrous 2018 Camp Fire in Butte County.

The Dixie Fire, burning northeast of Paradise, started July 13. By Tuesday morning, Cal Fire said the fire had burned 59,984 acres and remained at 15% contained.

Pacific Gas & Electric has reported to California utility regulators that its equipment may have been involved in the fire’s start.

PG&E equipment has repeatedly been linked to major wildfires, including the Camp Fire that ravaged the town of Paradise and killed 85 people.

A Google Earth Studio visualization of the Dixie Fire on July 19. (Courtesy: CEDR Digital Corps)

More than 800 structures are threatened by the fire, which is bordered by the Union Pacific Rail Line and Highway 70. Two structures have been destroyed.

The Plumas County Sheriff’s Office said structures have been lost in the Feather River Canyon but could not provide any additional details about the destruction.

Between Monday and Tuesday, the Dixie Fire continued to move east and north, Cal Fire said. Isolated thunderstorms are possible in the area Tuesday but will most likely be east of the fire.

Crews have had to battle the blaze mostly from the air due to difficult terrain. The effort was delayed for a time when civilian drones were detected in the area.

Narrow roads into the fire area have been closed to all but fire personnel. 

In some places where firefighters are not able to access the flames by road, they’re using Union Pacific engines, with water tanks in the front and back. The engines travel the tracks on the west side of the Feather River, which also provides a convenient water source for helicopters.

Monday afternoon, the National Weather Service posted video of what they said was a pyrocumulonimbus cloud over the fire. NASA has called the latter the “fire-breathing dragon of clouds” because they are so hot and big that they create their own weather.

Cal Fire is directing residents to their county’s CodeRed emergency alert system for evacuation information:

Evacuation warnings in Plumas County were expanded Monday night.

Jonesville and all High Lakes areas are under evacuation orders in Butte County. 

Officials also shared an evacuation map, with areas in red representing mandatory evacuations and the yellow areas being evacuation warning zones.

Lassen National Forest officials have also issued a closure as of Friday.

Bucks Lake Road from Riverdance west to Mountain House in Butte County was closed. All highway closures are being reported by Caltrans on its website.

The following locations have been listed as evacuation centers:

  • Quincy High School, 6 Quincy Junction Road in Plumas County
  • Shelter for animals at 2279 Del Oro and Mono Street East in Butte County

Click or tap here for additional information.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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