Crews took advantage of favorable conditions and increased containment on the Dixie Fire. Photo by USFS

Dixie Fire containment increases to 86 percent

Coming winds still have potential to increase fire activity, but crews are continuing to strengthen control lines around the fire’s edge.

By Thursday morning, Dixie Fire containment increased to 86 percent, and the fire has burned more than 960,000 acres.

In the West Zone of the fire, firefighters took of advantage of favorable weather conditions and additional resources to construct more direct fireline close to the fire’s edge. As a result of these efforts, containment on the fire has increased to 86 percent.

An approaching weather system this weekend is forecasted to bring increased southwest winds on Friday and Saturday. This has the potential to make the fire more active. Firefighters have been strengthening control lines and additional resources are available to respond to any increase in fire activity.

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North of Highway 44, firefighters continue to strengthen containment lines in the vicinity of Hat Creek Rim as well as protecting critical fiber optic infrastructure. Along Highway 44 and the east and west sides of the fire, firefighters will continue mopping up and patrol.

Suppression repair work has started in the southern area of the fire. Examples of this work includes creating erosion control structures and placing fallen trees across bulldozer firelines.

Meanwhile, most of the East Zone is contained with the exception of the Devil’s Punchbowl area. No growth is expected on the fire but unburned pockets of fuel on the interior will continue to smolder and produce light smoke periodically. Fire crews continue to find hotspots and extinguish them. Those hotspots have been identified by infrared imaging and patrols are located well within the fire containment area.

Yesterday, firefighters mopped-up, patrolled and monitored containment lines. Hotshot crews near the Devil’s Punchbowl area are hiking in backpack pumps to cool interior heat, identified by infrared sensors, which have potential to threaten constructed line.

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Today, focus will be on maintaining patrols around the Devil’s Punchbowl area and mopping up lines in preparation for increasing winds this weekend. Firefighters will also focus on the survey phase of fire suppression repair, which is essential work to leave a better landscape behind and support our Plumas National Forest partners.

Fire suppression repair are those actions taken to repair damages and minimize potential soil erosion as a result of intense firefighting over the past two months. Repair includes removing hazard trees and repairing the hand and dozer fire lines, roads, trails, staging areas, safety zones and drop points used during fire suppression efforts.