The Dixie Fire, seen here south of The Mark off Highway 395, surpassed 900,000 acres Monday, Sept. 6. Photo by Doyle Fire Protection District

Dixie Fire surpasses 900,000 acres, 57 percent contained Monday morning

The Dixie Fire continues to threaten some communities, and as of Monday morning, Sept. 6, has burned 910,495 acres. It is 57 percent contained.

“We’ve got to get this buttoned up so we can get these communities back to normal,” Operations Section Chief Mike Wink said during the Monday morning briefing.

In the Dixie Fire West Zone, the fire continues to burn out in the heavy material and was moderated by smoke settling over the fire area. Active fire was limited to ground fuels consisting of backing and flanking fire. Interior pockets continued to burn through the night well inside the fire perimeter. The diminishing humidity recovery aided in consumption of heavier fuels.

Resources continue to use all firefighting methods available in the Lassen Volcanic National Park while maintaining firefighter safety. Crews will continue to work aggressively throughout the day to extinguish hot spots and improve lines. Crews will continue to construct direct and indirect line to secure the fire perimeter, construct contingency lines in both zones, and provide structure defense in communities at risk.

Priority areas include Lassen Volcanic National Park, Old Station and surrounding communities, the Highway 395 escarpment areas including Janesville, Milford and Herlong.

Wink noted the unusually calm weather helped with the fire as it came down the escarpment, but said last night it picked up, with spotting and some whirls on the edge. Fire got around some structures, he said.

He gave the crews a mission of pre-treating everything, from structures to roads and driveways.

Wink also commended the work of local crews making sure areas received the attention needed.

He spoke of a local dozer and Cal Fire Lassen-Modoc Unit engines 2271 and 2251 worked to complete  line between Black Mountain lookout down to the motorcycle park.

In the Dixie Fire East Zone, The southeastern part of the Dixie Fire continues to produce extreme fire behavior daily spreading south and east in very dry and receptive fuels. Smoke will linger in the valleys with hot, dry, and breezy weather persisting for the next few days.

Yesterday and overnight, the fire was very active in the Ross Canyon Area north of Dixie Valley, threatening structures and challenging firefighters. Hand and engine crews on the night-shift strengthened containment lines, searched for spot fires around structures, and used water to extinguish the spots and cool down hot areas.

To the east, fire in the Dixie Mountain State Game Refuge burned into the Sugar Fire scar. Strong west winds yesterday afternoon and evening pushed more fire off the escarpment above Highway 395 south of Milford, and fire backed down to containment lines at the base of the slope in a couple areas, where crews from both the West and East Zones worked together to contain it.

Containment lines in the Coyote Hills Area and on Turner and Grizzly Ridges held in place, as crews used water to secure and reinforce the lines and cool interior hot spots. In the Devil’s Punchbowl area, south of Taylorsville, moderate fire behavior increases during the heat of the day.

Crews will continue to closely monitor the activity and continue to cool it down with helicopter water drops. Structure protection continued overnight and will again today in the Dixie Valley, Beckwourth, Clover Valley, Portola, Greenhorn, Cromberg, Genesee, and Taylorsville.