Dixie Fire remains 59% contained as crews ‘aggressively hold the fire’s edge’

Wildfire Watch

The Latest – Wednesday, Sept. 8:

9:50 p.m.

The Shasta County Sheriff’s Office has issued new mandatory evacuations. 

The community of Old Station in eastern Shasta County is to evacuate, along with residents of all roads between the Lassen National Park entrance and the Bridge Campground. 

Residences on Highway 44 from the Lassen County line are also under an evacuation order. 

Original Story Below:

Cal Fire 7 a.m. Update (Evacuations, Evacuation Centers, General Info)

PLUMAS COUNTY, Calif. (KTXL/AP) — The Dixie Fire was 59% contained Wednesday morning as the fire’s western side showed increased activity, and for the first time in days, there was little fire growth in the eastern zone Tuesday. 

Crews “continue to aggressively hold the fire’s edge with aircraft, a 10-blade dozer line” and fire retardant sprayers that protected buildings, Cal Fire reported.

More than 4,700 fire personnel are battling California’s largest recorded single wildfire in history, which started July 13. As of Wednesday morning, it’s burned 922,192 acres — over 1,440 square miles.

922,192Acres Burned
5,958Structures Threatened
1,282 (696 Residences)Structures Destroyed
Sept. 8, 7 a.m. Cal Fire Numbers

California’s energy grid operator issued a statewide call for voluntary electricity conservation from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday because of expected higher demand for air conditioning because of high temperatures.

Temperatures could top 100 degrees in the Sierra foothills, according to the National Weather Service.

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, both this month, with the Caldor and Dixie fires. 

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

Click or tap here to see the current fire perimeter.

The U.S. Forest Service announced it will temporarily close all California national forests through Sept. 17 to limit the chances of new fires igniting. 

Nearly 6,000 structures remain threatened by the Dixie Fire, Cal Fire reported. At least 1,282 structures have been destroyed, including 696 single and multi-family 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, Cal Fire reported short-range sport fires were an issue in the Lassen Volcanic National Park. Wednesday, areas of priority include the Lassen and Shasta sector, the Old Station area, the Highway 395 corridor, Greenhorn, Cromberg and Lake Davis.

Crews reported very little fire growth in the Dixie Fire’s East Zone on Tuesday. Cal Fire reported, “excellent progress” holding and improving containment lines on Dixie Mountain, in Dixie Valley and on Horton Ridge.

Cal Fire said crews are still closely monitoring the Devil’s Punchbowl, south of Taylorsville, and continue to use helicopters to “keep the fire in place and cooled down.

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 Dixie Fire reduced downtown Greenville to rubble in early August.

While Greenville has been repopulated, Plumas County leaders are still getting calls from residents in nearby communities wondering if it’s safe to return home.

“‘When can we come back and see what’s happened, when are the mandatory evacuations going to get lifted?’ I get those phone calls all the time, every day,” said Plumas County District 2 Supervisor Kevin Goss.

The supervisor is joining his community in hoping 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 Wednesday afternoon, Cal Fire said 400 Lassen County residents and 214 Plumas County residents were still under evacuation orders.

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.

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.

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.

Following a request from California leaders, President Joe Biden 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.

Click or tap here for additional information.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Don't miss

Latest News

More News