September 24 2021 03:30 pm

Dixie Fire: Blaze remains 75% contained as judge looks into PG&E’s suspected role in fire’s start

Wildfire Watch

Cal Fire: 7 a.m. Dixie Fire Incident Update

PLUMAS COUNTY, Calif. (KTXL/AP) — The Dixie Fire remains 75% contained Tuesday morning as more than 2,400 fire personnel continue to battle the blaze.

California’s largest recorded single wildfire, which started July 13, has burned 960,470 acres — over 1,500 square miles. 

President Joe Biden took an aerial tour of land charred by the Caldor Fire Monday after getting a briefing from Gov. Gavin Newsom and officials at the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services.

“We can’t ignore the reality that these wildfires are being supercharged by climate change,” Biden said, noting that catastrophic weather doesn’t strike based on partisan ideology. “It isn’t about red or blue states. It’s about fires, just fires.”

960,470Acres Burned
1,471 — As of MondayStructures Threatened
1,329 (736 Residences) — As of MondayStructures Destroyed
Sept. 14, 7 a.m. Cal Fire Numbers

The Dixie Fire merged with the nearby Fly Fire in July. Pacific Gas & Electric has reported to California utility regulators that its equipment may be linked to both fires, adding to the list of major wildfires linked to the utility.

A PG&E troubleshooter spent nearly two hours in federal court Monday fielding questions about whether the beleaguered utility could have turned off the electricity sooner to a power line now suspected of sparking the monstrous Dixie Fire.

U.S. District Judge William Alsup accused PG&E of downplaying the risk posed by the power line suspected of causing the fire. He said he has received information flagging that troublesome power line as the 11th most dangerous in PG&E’s sprawling service territory.

Click or tap here to see the current fire perimeter.

Cal Fire Chief Thom Porter said that only twice in California history have blazes burned from one side of the Sierra Nevada to the other, with the Caldor and Dixie fires.

Marcus Pacheco, an assistant fire engine operator for Lassen National Forest with 30 years of experience, died last week from an unidentified illness. He was assigned to the Dixie Fire burning north of the Caldor Fire, authorities said.

Three firefighters and a fire captain were hospitalized Aug. 7 after a weakened tree fell and struck them, a San Diego County Cal Fire crew reported

The U.S. Forest Service announced it will temporarily close all California national forests through Friday to limit the chances of new fires igniting. 

More than 1,600 structures remain threatened by the Dixie Fire, Cal Fire reported Monday morning. At least 1,329 structures have been destroyed, including 736 single and multi-family homes. Ninety-five structures have been damaged.

The numbers reflected may change as crews make progress through the area. Officials are updating a map indicating the current known status of structures. Click here to view the map.

Fire crews will continue to build containment lines on the northern portion of the West Zone, Cal Fire reported Tuesday morning.

In the East Zone, crews will primarily focus on the Grizzzly Peak and Devil’s Punchbowl areas, as well as the southeast corner near Dixie Mountain.

The Dixie Fire reduced downtown Greenville to rubble in early August. Plumas County District 2 Supervisor Kevin Goss, along with his community, hopes the town can rebuild through fundraisers and low-interest loans.

Plumas County officials are working with the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services to find a temporary housing community for the displaced. They hope to have a temporary firehouse in Greenville by Oct. 1.

By Monday afternoon 72 Lassen County residents and 100 Shasta County residents were still under evacuation orders, according to Cal OES.

Because evacuation orders and warnings are changing frequently, Cal Fire is directing residents to the social media pages of local law enforcement and forest management.

Residents can also sign up for their county’s CodeRed emergency alert system for evacuation information using the links below.

The following location has been listed as evacuation centers:

  • Holy Family Catholic Church at 108 Taylor Avenue in Portola, CA in Plumas County [FULL]
  • Sparks Convention Center Hall #5 at 4590 South Virginia Street in Reno, NV

Evacuees in need of help can also contact American Red Cross at 855-755-7711.

Residents impacted by the Dixie Fire can obtain general relief supplies like clothing, groceries and personal hygiene items at the following locations:

  • Community Assistance Network
    176 Lawrence Street, Quincy
    Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, 10 a.m. – Noon
    Tuesdays and Thursdays, 2 p.m. – 4 p.m.
  • Chester Elks Lodge
    164 Main Street, Chester
    Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays, 3 p.m. – 6 p.m.
    *Beginning Saturday, Sept. 11 through the month of September
    *General relief supplies
  • Quincy Seventh-Day Adventist Church
    2333 Pine Street, Quincy
    Wednesdays and Sundays, 3 p.m. – 6 p.m.
    *Beginning Sunday, Sept. 12
    *General relief supplies

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

Returning residents are asked to stay vigilant, Cal Fire warned. Smoke may still be coming from trees and stumps, but residents should call 911 if they grow concerned about active flames.

Road and highway closures are being reported by Caltrans on its website. People traveling in the area should follow egress route directions in the evacuation notification because GPS can lead drivers to hazardous areas, Cal Fire warned.

Officials also advise motorists to call 1-800-427-7623 for highway information.

Click or tap here for additional information.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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