Air support works in tandem with firefighters on the ground. Photo by Joe Bradshaw, BLM

Dixie Fire burns 960,470 acres, remains at 75 percent containment

While minimal fire activity is occurring across the fire, fuels are still very dry and gusty winds could ignite hot spots, officials advised. As of Tuesday morning, Sept. 14, the Dixie Fire has burned 960,470 acres and remains at 75 percent containment.

While yesterday saw minimal fire activity, forest fuels are as dry as they were prior to last week’s rainfall. Larger and heavier fuels such as stumps and logs still hold heat, which could spread to other areas if pushed by gusty winds. Yesterday, firefighters diligently mopped-up, patrolled and monitored containment lines and prepared for expected increase in fire activity as the weather warms and dries.

On many portions of the perimeter, firefighters have mopped up 100-200 feet inside the fireline. Their intent is to reinforce the containment line. Firefighters were very active in the Grizzly Peak/Devil’s Punchbowl area.

Crews patrolled the perimeter overnight to scout for heat and look for trouble spots. There were no issues.

Today, fire suppression again focuses primarily in the Grizzly Peak/Devil’s Punchbowl area, and in the southeast corner of the fire near Dixie Mountain. There remains some hot spots in the form of large fuels – stumps, logs, standing snags – burning inside the control lines, where firefighters remain committed to reducing interior heat.

Also, there are many hazard trees still standing in these areas that pose risk to firefighters and will be mitigated. Water sources were added in the Grizzly Peak/Devil’s Punchbowl area to provide a faster means of cooling the interior heat and deepen the hand line created by hotshot crews. Meanwhile, there are an estimated 1,559 miles of dozer line and 90 miles of handline that will require inspection and in some cases repair work. As a result, equipment is being pulled off the line at areas of lowest risk for fire activity.

Additionally, fire suppression repair continues across the East Zone. This work repairs the hand and dozer fire lines, roads, trails, staging areas, safety zones and drop points used during fire suppression efforts.

Structure protection resources are staged in multiple areas ready to respond in case of need.

In the West Zone, minimal fire activity is occurring across the fire area with some increase in visible smoke as the weather continues to become warmer and drier. Unburned interior islands of fuel near the line continue to flare up and present control issues due to limited firefighting resources.

Evacuation Orders for the Old Station and Hat Creek areas were downgraded from order to warning at 7 a.m., and Highway 89 is open to the intersection of Highway 44. Speed controls are in place for firefighter safety.

Firefighters will continue to establish containment lines to the south of Old Station and north of Highway
44 in the vicinity of Hat Creek Rim and Plateau, and firefighters will continue mop up and patrol of heavy and downed fuels. Structure protection of communities and infrastructure remain a high priority for firefighters across the west zone of the fire.