Dixie Fire remains 59% contained as crews prepare for ‘extreme weather’

Wildfire Watch

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

The Latest – Thursday, Sept. 9

9:40 p.m.

Evacuation orders have been issued for the following areas:

  • North of Black Gulch Road, from the Lassen County line, east to and including Little Valley and Dixie Peak area from Pit River Canyon south.

7:10 p.m.

The Dixie Fire remains at 59% containment and is 928,741 acres — about 1,451 square miles — in size.

10:40 a.m.

A Red Flag Warning has been issued for Thursday at 5 p.m. through Friday at 11 p.m., the National Weather Service said. The warning applies to the majority of Northern California, including the Sacramento and San Joaquin valleys.

Original story below:

PLUMAS COUNTY, Calif. (KTXL/AP) — The Dixie Fire remains 59% contained Thursday morning as crews in the fire’s western side prepared for possible wind and thunderstorms, and little fire growth was seen in the eastern zone for the second day in a row. 

Crews working in conjunction from both the East and West zones “have installed thousands of feet of hose, scrapped 10-blade-wide dozer lines, and reinforced containment lines with retardant” along the 395 corridor, 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 Thursday morning, it’s burned 927,320 acres — over 1,448 square miles. 

The state energy grid operator called for voluntary conservation of electricity from 4-9 p.m. because of expected high demand for air conditioning. The alert ended without any major power outages reported but the conservation request was extended to 4-9 p.m. Thursday.

A fire weather watch was issued for Thursday evening through Friday evening in much of the interior of Northern California due to a weather system that is expected to bring a chance of thunderstorms with lightning and erratic gusts.

927,320Acres Burned
1,941Structures Threatened
1,282 (696 Residences)Structures Destroyed
Sept. 9, 7 a.m. Cal Fire Numbers

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 last week 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 2,000 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 they will continue to focus on reinforcing lines in the Lassen Volcanic National Park Thursday. Old Station was put under mandatory evacuation Wednesday around 7 p.m. as winds continued to increase the fire activity.

Additional resources were assigned to the Shasta sector to prepare for extreme weather Thursday and Friday.

Crews reported very little fire growth in the Dixie Fire’s East Zone on Wednesday, though containment lines were threatened by flare-ups from “internal pockets of unburned fuel” and rekindled pine needles.

Cal Fire said crews are still closely monitoring the Devil’s Punchbowl, south of Taylorsville, as the fire continues to burn due to the steep terrain.

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.

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