PLUMAS COUNTY, Calif. (KTXL/AP) — The Dixie Fire is 48% contained, and continues to spread and prompt evacuations across Plumas, Butte, Tehama and Lassen counties.
Just over 4,300 fire personnel are battling California’s largest recorded single wildfire in history, which started July 13. As of Monday morning, it’s burned 771,183 acres — over 1,204 square miles.
A Red Flag Warning for critical fire conditions was issued for Monday and Tuesday.
The Dixie Fire is the first officials are aware of that has burned from the west side of the mountain range over into the valley floor on the east side.
“We don’t have any record of that happening before,” Cal Fire Chief Thom Porter said.
Following a request from California leaders, President Joe Biden on Tuesday declared that a major disaster exists in California and ordered federal aid made available to local governments, agencies and fire victims in Lassen, Nevada, Placer and Plumas counties.
Nearly 11,500 structures remain threatened by the Dixie Fire, Cal Fire reported. At least 1,277 structures have been destroyed, including 685 homes. Ninety-two 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.
In the Dixie Fire’s West Zone, the fire continues to burn in steep and rugged areas.
Fire crews are expecting to be challenged on Grizzly Ridge in the East Zone over the next few days as high winds and low relative humidity enter the area. Everything east of Genesee Valley remains secure, Cal Fire said. Crews continue to construct lines north of Lake Davis to protect homes.
“This is not going to end anytime soon,” Porter said of the Dixie Fire. “Everybody’s going to be sucking smoke for a long time.”
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.
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.
As of Monday morning, 253 Lassen County residents are still ordered to evacuate, as well as 2,504 Plumas County residents and 150 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 location has been listed as evacuation centers:
- Holy Family Catholic Church at 108 Taylor Avenue in Portola, CA in Plumas County
Officials shared an evacuation map, with areas in red representing mandatory evacuations and the yellow areas being evacuation warning zones.
As some evacuation orders are reduced to warnings, returning residents to stay vigilant, Cal Fire warned. Smoke may be coming from trees and stumps in the coming days, but residents should call 911 if they grow concerned about active flames.
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 advise motorists to call 1-800-427-7623 for highway information.
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.