Windy, dry conditions a concern for Dixie Fire; blaze 52% contained, burns over 844K acres

Wildfire Watch

PLUMAS COUNTY, Calif. (KTXL/AP) — The Dixie Fire is 52% contained, and continues to spread and prompt evacuations across Plumas, Butte, Tehama and Lassen counties.

Nearly 4,000 fire personnel are battling California’s largest recorded single wildfire in history, which started July 13. As of Wednesday morning, it’s burned 844,081 acres — over 1,318 square miles.

A Red Flag Warning issued in the area has expired but Cal Fire warned “conditions and fuels can still create fire conditions resistant to control.”

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. 

Click or tap here to see the current fire perimeter.

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

More than 14,200 structures remain threatened by the Dixie Fire, Cal Fire reported. At least 1,282 structures have been destroyed, including 688 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.

For the latest Cal Fire report and evacuation orders, click or tap here.

In the Dixie Fire’s West Zone, crews are working to establish direct and indirect containment lines south of Old Station and at the Highway 44 corridor. Critical infrastructure in the area is being protected by the Union Pacific Fire Train.

Cal Fire said crews are also working to complete contingency lines north and south of Janesville and Milford. 

In the East Zone, structure protection remains in place in Genesee, Taylorsville, Greenhorn and Cromberg. Cal Fire said the flames are moving in a southeast progression in the Grizzly Ridge and Ward Creek area, between East Quincy and the Walker Fire scar. 

Rep. Doug LaMalfa, who represents the district impacted by the Dixie Fire, 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 Tuesday morning, 253 Lassen County residents are still ordered to evacuate, as well as 2,515 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.

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
  • Sparks Convention Center Hall #5 at 4590 South Virginia Street in Reno, NV

Residents in need of help can also contact American Red Cross at 855-755-7711.

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.

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