Dixie Fire Update as of Wednesday, Oct. 20

According to a statement from the U.S. Forest Service, the Dixie Fire has consumed 963,309 acres, is 95 percent contained and a total of 1,218 personnel are battling the fire.

For East Zone fire information, call (949) 573-5702 (8 a.m. to 8 p.m.); for West Zone fire information, call 592-0838 (8 a.m. to 8 p.m.); or E-mail: 2021.dixie.ca@firenet.gov.

 

East Zone

At 5 p.m. last night the Eastern Area Incident Management Team – Silver under the command of Incident Commander Russell Harris took over management of the East Zone of the Dixie Fire incident. More than 60 percent of the Phase 1, high-priority, fire suppression repair work has been completed in the East Zone.

Resources took advantage of the favorable weather conditions on Tuesday to continue making significant progress with fire suppression work. Some of the specific areas that fire resources have been working include Indian Valley, Round Valley, Taylorville, Genesee Valley, and the Milford areas. Hand crews were particularly useful in areas that were too steep or too wet to utilize heavy equipment. Repairs to public and private lands damaged during the suppression effort will continue. The East Zone did not receive any smoke reports yesterday.

 

West Zone

Weather forecasters from the National Weather Service in Reno and the Incident Meteorologist assigned to Dixie Fire West Zone, warn of an active weather pattern over the fire area in the next few days and potential for a significant, prolonged and very wet storm this weekend. Sustained and gusty winds will stress hazard trees and wet weather will make already deteriorating road conditions worse, challenging suppression repair efforts. In the past two days suppression repair crews encountered wet, muddy, and even dangerously slippery conditions in some areas, especially at upper elevations. Some crews redeployed their operations in drier terrain and at lower elevations because heavy machinery operated in extremely muddy conditions will only cause more damage to the very land crews are trying to repair.

Skidder crews completed timber decking operations north of Westwood in the Robbers Creek area near Mason Station and are moving their operation today to the Canyon Dam area where feller buncher crews and falling teams are making good progress removing hazard trees. Heavy equipment crews continue to work on very extensive suppression repair operations near Butt Creek, in the Carter Meadows area, near Domingo Springs, and the access to Feather River Estates, focusing their efforts on the most sensitive high priority areas.

Incident officials and local agencies are closely watching the weather and making contingency plans but remain committed to completing as much repair work as possible across the Dixie Fire area before being forced to shut down by approaching winter.

 

Weather and fire potential

Tuesday provided the best weather day of the week. Rain moved into the area overnight and Wednesday is expected to be mostly cloudy with scattered showers. This precipitation begins a pattern of rain and higher humidity that is expected to last through the weekend and into next week. With this widespread precipitation, fire behavior is expected to be very low and little to no smoke will be visible. Even with this predicted rain, there may be a few areas of isolated heat that remain within the perimeter, but they pose no threat to containment. Report any smoke that becomes visible, by calling the Plumas County Sheriff’s Dispatch at 283-6300. All firefighters working on the fire are available to respond and suppress any new fires.

 

Closures

Closure orders remain in effect for some areas of the Lassen National Forest and Plumas National Forest.

For more information, visit InciWeb (inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/closures/7690/) or the interactive forest closure map (arcg.is/1re8my0).

In the Lassen Volcanic National Park, 1 mile of the park highway is open from the northwest entrance, and 8 miles are open from the southwest entrance. Elsewhere in the park, the highway remains closed.  For more information, visit InciWeb (inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/closures/7690/) or the interactive forest closure map (arcg.is/1re8my0).