Dixie Fire crews prep for potential increased fire activity over the weekend

Wildfire Watch

PLUMAS COUNTY, Calif. (KTXL/AP) — The Dixie Fire remains 86% contained as more than 2,400 fire personnel continue to battle the blaze.

California’s largest recorded single wildfire in history, which started July 13, has burned 960,581 acres — over 1,500 square miles.

960,581Acres Burned
1,329 (736 Residences)Structures Destroyed
Sept. 16, 7 a.m. Cal Fire Numbers

Greenville community members are suing Pacific Gas and Electric, alleging the utility is responsible for the destruction of hundreds of homes and businesses during the Dixie Fire.

At least 200 homeowners, renters and business owners filed a lawsuit against PG&E after the town was ravaged by the Dixie Fire in early August, arguing the destruction could’ve been avoided.

FOX40 spoke to Gerald Singleton, the managing partner of the law firm helping these families and entrepreneurs on Thursday. 

“It’s so difficult. I’ve spoken with and represented thousands of fire victims over the years, and while all of their stories have a lot in common, all of them are unique. Everybody’s loss is unique,” Singleton said. 

Singleton said PG&E has been heading in the right direction the last couple of years, but they’ve gotten so far behind over the last decade and a half.

The Dixie Fire merged with the nearby Fly Fire in July. PG&E 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.

U.S. District Judge William Alsup accused the company 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.

During his visit to California Monday, President Joe Biden expressed concern about the connection between climate change and California wildfires.

“It isn’t about red or blue states. It’s about fires, just fires,” Biden said, noting that catastrophic weather doesn’t strike based on partisan ideology.

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.

Click or tap here to see the current fire perimeter.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture ended its region-wide forest closure Wednesday night, two days ahead of schedule.

Fire officials reported Friday morning that smoke and fire activity picked up in the East Zone burning previously untouched pockets within the containment lines.

Crews responded to reports of fire activity near Silver Lake Road, Turner Ridge, Buck’s Lake and west of Lake Davis, the U.S. Forest Service reported.

Crews are preparing for an approaching weather system that’s expected to bring increased southwest winds on Friday and Saturday and a chance of rain overnight Saturday. In preparation, crews have been reinforcing containment lines to minimize the potential for fire spread or spotting.

Field damage inspections have concluded, Cal Fire said. At least 1,329 structures have been destroyed, including 736 single and multi-family homes. Ninety-five structures have been damaged.

Officials have a map indicating the status of structures. Click here to view.

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.

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.

The Department of Toxic Substances Control has begun cleanup efforts in communities impacted by the Dixie Fire.

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

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.

By Thursday afternoon, 72 Lassen County residents and 30 Shasta County residents were still under evacuation orders, according to Cal OES.

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

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.

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.

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

Click or tap here for additional information.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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