The East Quincy Alertwildfire.org camera captures the Dixie Fire plume Monday. Photo courtesy of alertwildfire.org

Dixie Fire containment increases to 22 percent Monday

The Dixie Fire, which started nearly a month ago on July 13 in the Feather River Canyon near Cresta Powerhouse, has burned 482,047 acres and has gained some containment Monday, increasing to 22 percent, as it has grown and prompted Lassen County evacuations.

Due to the blaze, there are 873 structures destroyed, and 61 sustained damage. About 16,035 structures remained threatened.

On Sunday, the Lassen County Sheriff’s Office issued new evacuation warnings for the Janesville area west of Highway 395. All other warnings and orders, including those for the Westwood and Clear Creek areas, remain in place.

During the Monday evening virtual community meeting, the California Interagency Incident Management Team 4 gave the update on the East Zone of the blaze.

According to Kyle Jacobson, Operations for CIIMT 4, the southern portion of the East Zone is holding well, and crews continue to mop up and secure around the Crescent Mills and build line across Keddie Ridge.

In the Lone Rock area, the fire has progressed into the Bear Valley area, but crews have been going direct on the blaze and getting around the fire’s edge. They are working to bring the fire back into Diamond Mountain Road.

“Today was the first day in a few days that we had good, clean air in there, so we were able to use our helicopters,” said Jacobson, saying they had a few hours were they flew all air craft they had in the Lone Rock and Hunt Canyon, Keddie Ridge areas.

Everything that has hit the Sheep Fire burn scar has stopped in growth. For the Dyer Mountain area, indirect line is being built, in addition to direct attacks.

No structures have been impacted on the East Shore of Lake Almanor, Clear Creek or Westwood.

Plumas National Forest Supervisor Chris Carlton noted for the fire, crews have built 229 miles of dozer line, 104 miles of road have been prepped and crews have built 18 miles of hand line.

He also put into perspective the one percent containment increase, saying, “That one percent of containment doesn’t seem like a lot, but it’s 4,820 acres.”

Jacobson later answered questions of those concerned about the threat to the Janesville area. He answered crews were making contingency plans, and a building a fuel break around Janesville, adding additional lines to protect the community.

“We’re doing everything we can to secure the communities of Janesville and Susanville,” Jacobson said.

According to the evening update:

Dixie Fire East Zone – Fire became active as it was ventilated by SW wind gusts up to 20 mph in the China Gulch topography and slowed its progression in the Moonlight fire burn scar where the continuity of fuels decreased. Crews continued to fight fire aggressively, constructed direct and indirect line to secure the fire perimeter including dozer lines. Structure preparation continued in the Hamilton Mountain and Dyer Mountain areas.

Dixie Fire West Zone – Smoke was very slow to thin today hampering air operations. Fire behavior consisted of wind driven surface fire, isolated torching, and spotting due to critically low fuel moister. Hot temperatures are forecasted for this week with south west winds. Fire crews are aggressively building direct and indirect fire lines and utilizing control lines from previous fires. Resources will continue to provide structure protection in communities at risk. Evacuation Warnings and Evacuation Orders are constantly changing, please see below for information affecting your area.

Tomorrow’s virtual community meeting will be given by Cal Fire Team 3, which will be discussing the West Zone. The West Zone and East Zone will be alternating days.