As of Friday morning, Aug. 20, The Dixie Fire has surpassed 700,000 acres. Photo from Lassen National Forest

Dixie Fire surpasses 700,000 acres, remains at 35 percent containment

More than a month into the blaze, the Dixie Fire has surpassed 700,000 acres.

As of Friday morning, the fire remains at 35 percent containment and has consumed 700,630 acres.

Lassen County evacuation orders and warnings remain in place.

For the Janesville area of the fire, where both the West and East zones are working,  the fire continues to be stubborn with slop overs, but crews are going direct on the line and are receiving assistance from aircraft. According to West Zone Operations Section Chief Mark Brunton, Janesville proper is looking good, and crews were getting a line between the fire and the rest of the community.

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According to East Zone Operations Section Chief Chad Cook in the morning video update, the Janesville area is one that continues to push buttons, but crews were getting the flanks corralled to prevent the spread further into the Janesville and Milford communities as it moves down Highway 395.

Winds today could challenge the lines built, Cook said, adding “It’s a key and pivotal piece for us to hold on to today.”

For the Susanville branch of the fire, Brunton noted crews were going direct on the line, and “having a lot of good success there.”

The slopover around Dyer Mountain yesterday grew to about 20 acres, officials shared, and crews were continuing to mop it up. Fast dozer lines and air attack helped control it.

Moreover, Brunton noted the burning operation near Highway 36 near Lake Almanor, Westwood areas was being mopped up and secured and should prevent any spread from the north.

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He said the Westwood, Peninsula and Hamilton Branch areas were looking good.

“Overall, we’re looking very good with the fire,” Brunton said, noting predicted better weather conditions. “We’re having a lot of success.”

According to the written update:

Dixie Fire West Zone: The Dixie Fire remained active overnight, with the dry air over the fire. Fire activity included both single and group tree torching along the active ground fire. Humidity values rose enough to limit fire progression in the early morning hours. Fuel moistures are historically low. Crews continue to strengthen control lines and mop up hot spots. Damage assessment is ongoing, and the number of damaged and destroyed structures may change as teams are able to access the fire area safely.

Dixie Fire East Zone: Aircraft with retardant, dozers, and crews maintained aggressive engagement on the portion of the fire near Janesville. Firefighters are being challenged by spots outside the line and steep, inaccessible terrain. Aircraft will be utilized today as weather and visibility allow. In an additional priority area, fire continues to back down the hill on the north side of Genesee Valley. All available resources are improving lines around structures and preparing to conduct point protection. The spot fire in the Devil’s Punchbowl north of Grizzly Peak is on steep inaccessible terrain and remains in its current footprint of 30 to 40 acres after aerial retardant application. Dozers, feller bunchers, and other equipment are constructing line on Grizzly Ridge to prepare for any fire movement south of the spot fire.

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