The Latest – Sunday, Aug. 22:
The Dixie Fire has now burned 724,110 acres and is 38% contained, according to Cal Fire. Over 12,000 structures remain threatened, 1,259 structures have been destroyed and 91 structures have been damaged. Three first responders have been injured due to the fire.
Original story below:
PLUMAS COUNTY, Calif. (KTXL/AP) — The Dixie Fire continues to spread and prompt more evacuations as it burns across Plumas, Butte, Tehama and Lassen counties.
Nearly 6,000 fire personnel are battling California’s largest recorded single wildfire in history, which started July 13. As of Friday morning, it’s burned 700,630 acres — over 1,094 square miles — and is 35% contained.
“The Dixie Fire is the first fire that we’re aware of that has burned from the west side of the mountain range all the way over into the valley floor on the east side of the mountain range,” Cal Fire Chief Thom Porter said Wednesday at a CalOES briefing. “We don’t have any record of that happening before.”
Over 16,000 structures remain threatened by the Dixie Fire, Cal Fire reported. At least 1,225 structures have been destroyed, including 652 homes. Eighty-nine structures have been damaged.
The Plumas County Sheriff’s Office issued evacuation orders for Taylorsville Zone 15A including Arlington Road and Nelson Street. All residents are to leave and should evacuate south toward Quincy.
Officials said the numbers reflected may change as crews make progress through the area.
Crews have had to battle the blaze mostly from the air due to difficult terrain. Firefighters are also using Union Pacific engines, with water tanks in the front and back, along the west side of the Feather River.
In the Dixie Fire West Zone, Cal Fire said the flames remained active overnight into Friday, with single and group tree torching. Humidity levels rose enough to limit fire progression early Friday, crews said.
Aircraft crews focused heavily on the Janesville area in the East Zone, Cal Fire said.
Crews are experiencing spot fires in “steep, inaccessible terrain,” Cal Fire reported Friday.
“Spot fires are always an issue,” said Brad Bihun, public information officer for California’s response to the Dixie Fire told FOX40 last week.
Rep. Doug LaMalfa, who represents the district impacted by the Dixie and River fires, issued a tearful promise to his constituents after the fire ripped through Greenville.
“My heart is crushed by what has occurred there,” said Plumas County Sheriff Todd Johns, a lifelong Greenville resident.
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 fire captain remains at a care facility to receive “aggressive physical therapy.”
Of the four firefighters injured, two will need additional rehabilitation. The other two have been allowed to return to duty.
After successfully locating 46 unaccounted for individuals, the Plumas County Sheriff’s Office announced Tuesday crews continue to search for Ronald Avila of Greenville. Officials believe Avila may have left the area four years ago.
As of Friday morning, a little over 5,500 Lassen County residents are still evacuated, as well as 2,300 Plumas County residents and 650 Tehama residents.
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.
- Plumas County Sheriff’s Office – Facebook
- Butte County Sheriff’s Office – Facebook
- Lassen County Sheriff’s Office – Facebook
- Tehama County Sheriff’s Department – Facebook
Residents can also sign up for their county’s CodeRed emergency alert system for evacuation information using the links below.
The following locations have been listed as evacuation centers:
- Springs of Hope Church at 59 Bell Lane in Quincy, CA in Plumas County
- Lassen Community College at 78-200 CA-139 in Susanville, CA in Lassen County
- Holy Family Catholic Church at 108 Taylor Avenue in Portola, CA in Plumas County
- Los Molinos Veterans Hall at 7980 Sherwood Boulevard in Los Molinos, CA, in Tehama County
Officials shared an evacuation map, with areas in red representing mandatory evacuations and the yellow areas being evacuation warning zones.
Lassen National Forest and Plumas National Forest officials have also issued closures.
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 advised motorists to call 1-800-427-7623 for highway information.
“This is not going to end anytime soon,” Porter said. “Everybody’s going to be sucking smoke for a long time.”
The Dixie Fire merged with the nearby Fly Fire, which started July 22. Pacific Gas & Electric has reported to California utility regulators that its equipment may be linked to both fires.
PG&E equipment has repeatedly been linked to major wildfires, including the Camp Fire that ravaged the nearby town of Paradise and killed 85 people.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.