Evacuation order issued in Plumas County for Dixie Fire burning northeast of Paradise

Wildfire Watch

The Latest – Thursday, July 15:

7:23 p.m.

The Dixie Fire has burned 4,900 acres and is 7% contained.

6:13 p.m.

A mandatory evacuation is in effect for those who live in the area from Rock Creek to Tobin — from the Plumas-Butte county line to the community of Tobin.

An evacuation warning has also been issued for those who live east of Tobin to Caribou, including both sides of Highway 70, the community of Belden and the community of Caribou.

3:45 p.m.

Fire officials said they are anticipating winds to push the flames of the Dixie Fire northeast and crews are working to reinforce that area.

2:20 p.m.

The Plumas County Sheriff’s Office has issued an evacuation order for the High Lakes area. Residents are asked to leave the area immediately.

Evacuation warnings have also been issued for those who live in the area from Rock Creek to Tobin. The Butte County Sheriff’s Office says there is also an evacuation warning for the area from Philbrook Road to the Plumas County line.

Original story below:

BUTTE COUNTY, Calif. (KTXL) — Cal Fire is working hard to control a fire along the burn scar of the disastrous 2018 Camp Fire in Butte County.

A plume of smoke could be seen from miles away as firefighters struggled to get to the remote Dixie Fire, burning northeast of Paradise. 

The fire started Tuesday night. By Thursday morning, Cal Fire said the fire had burned 2,250 acres and was 0% contained. 

The Union Pacific Rail Line and Highway 70 border the fire. 

“Steep and inaccessible terrain are making containment difficult,” Cal Fire reported.

Crews are relying on aerial assault because the fire crested a ridge into the Feather River Canyon, but it was delayed for a time when civilian drones were detected in the area on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Satellite imagery of smoke from the Dixie Fire (Courtesy: Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere/Regional and Mesoscale Meteorology Branch)

“That hindered that suppression or that slowing of that fire down a little bit,” Cal Fire Capt. John Gaddie explained on Wednesday. “So, please do not come into the area, whether you’re driving into the area or think you can fly a drone into the area because we’re going to have to stop our suppression efforts.”

Narrow roads into the fire area have been closed to all but fire personnel. 

In some places where firefighters are not able to access the flames by road, they’re using railroads. A train of two Union Pacific engines, with water tanks in the front and back, is traveling the tracks on the west side of the Feather River, which also provides a convenient water source for helicopters. 

Crews douse flames that crept downslope toward the tracks, and they are soaking the tracks themselves. 

There was a concerted effort to protect major power lines along the Feather River. A spokesperson with Pacific Gas and Electric said several transmission lines were de-energized Wednesday as a precautionary measure, affecting roughly 10,000 customers in Plumas County.

Camp Creek Road is closed to traffic, and the Butte County Sheriff’s Office has given evacuation warnings to the rural areas of Pulga and east Concow, which only consist of 10 people.

Wednesday, Cal Fire tried to reassure area residents that the fire was blowing to the northeast, away from population centers, but the reminder of the deadly Camp Fire still had some residents spooked. 

“I lost everything,” said Yankee Hill resident Desmond David. “You feel the breeze right now; it’s going toward the northeast. So … I’m OK.”

“Now is the time to get ready if you’re asked to evacuate. Don’t wait until it’s time. Have those go bags ready,” Foxworthy said. “Have that plan in place. And when you get the call to leave, please do so because it makes it easier for us to get in there and fight the fire.”

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