Dixie Fire remains at 94 percent containment, winds increase activity

Yesterday’s wind prompted increased activity withing the Dixie Fire lines and crews moped up small fires, and the fire remains at 94 percent containment Tuesday, Sept. 28.

In the West Zone, The forecasted red flag weather was present on the fire yesterday with wind speeds of 20-40 mph. This caused an increase in fire activity and smoke within the interior of the fire, but the control lines were never threatened. Ground crews coordinated with air support to get water onto hot spots to the north of Mill Creek. Firefighters continued to patrol containment lines and conduct suppression repair work especially along the Highway 44 corridor and Silver Lake area. All containment lines held secure around the fire perimeter through the increase in winds. Swing shift resources remained on the fireline last night, providing additional firefighting capacity as necessary.

Cooler temperatures and light winds are expected today. Minimal fire activity is expected, with isolated visible smoke from heat remaining in heavy fuels within containment lines. Reburn in the fire interior is expected to continue from additional needle cast blown off trees from yesterday’s strong winds. In places where rainfall amounts were light, fuels will quickly dry and become available for consumption by early afternoon. Firefighters will continue to patrol and secure contained lines and mop up any remaining pockets of heat near the fire’s perimeter. Suppression repair work will continue across the fire, although initial attack response to new or increased fire activity will remain a high priority. Air resources will be available to make service calls and support resources on the ground.

In the East Zone, due to the extremely high fire danger yesterday, crews pulled back from field work at 11:30 a.m. to be ready to quickly respond to any slopovers or new starts during the red flag warning. This also lessened the danger of anyone getting hurt by snags falling in high winds. Crews responded to several smoke reports and mopped up two small fires in the Boy Scout camp and in Genessee Valley. Mop up continued at Grizzly Ridge and Milford and suppression repair on the Pacific Crest Trail all the way to Highway. 70 and around Lake Davis. Firefighters also found new new dozer line around the archaeological site, also known as the avoidance area, and continued mechanical repair in that same area. Initial Attack responded to service calls.

Firefighters will pickup where they left off yesterday. The Diamond Mountain Type 1 Crew has returned to the incident and will assess the last section of uncontained line at Devil’s Punchbowl. Mop up will continue along Grizzly Ridge and other hotspots. Suppression repair will continue along the Pacific Crest Trail to the east toward Quincy, and around Meadow Valley, Kennedy, Taylorsville, Quincy, Mt. Hough and areas on the fire’s east side. Crews will also assess hazards trees where roads may be reopened. Initial Attack will assist divisions as requested and follow up on any smoke reports. Three helicopters remain assigned to the East Zone.

After passage of the frontal system, temperatures will be much cooler today with higher relative humidity. Temperatures are expected to be in the 60s today, with a minimum relative humidity of 22%. Winds will shift from southwest to north, slowing considerably down to 5-10 mph. A slow warming and drying trend will follow by late week.