Dixie Fire smoke causes air attack crews to be grounded in Chester

Local News

PLUMAS COUNTY, Calif. (KTXL) – The firefight continued Monday night on the front lines of the Dixie Fire.

The second-largest fire in California history is threatening homes in the Indian Valley not far from the decimated community of Greenville.

With fire on the nearby hillside, Indian Valley resident Dan Green is trying to keep his nerve.

“Pretty depressed and then we try to not get depressed, be kind of happy about it,” Green explained. “We walk the fire lines because they got a dozer up there, and that’s been pretty nice to look at that and see what they have done.”

For the moment Green’s home is safe, a U.S. Forest Service sub-contracting crew made sure of it.

“It was in the dark, they did so much work,” Green said. “It was amazing.”

Further east, a massive plume could be seen from a wider scope in the town of Taylorsville.

As the fire continues to burn, a fire line can be seen set by firefighters using bulldozers and dirt to try to keep flames away from the highway and while air support is happening, it’s not coming from the nearby airbase.

The Chester Air Attack Base grounded its flights Monday. Base officials say it’s just too smoky to fly from there.

“If we weren’t socked in, we’d be able to support aircraft,” explained Air Tanker Base Manager Jenna Peters. “And just be here to support those helicopters coming in and out of here whether it is fueling or just being closer to the fire than the spots that they are at right now.”

Being able to use Rogers Field in Chester will be helpful to the firefight in the near future.

A worker at the airfield told FOX40 they will give it another try Tuesday but whether they launch is all dependent on flight conditions.

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