The Dixie Fire surpasses 600,000 acres and remains at 31 percent containment Tuesday. Photo by Cal Fire Lassen Modoc Unit

Fire pushes toward Janesville, Susanville: Dixie Fire burns 604,511 acres as Red Flag conditions continue through Tuesday

It was a rough night for Lassen County as a string of evacuation orders and warnings were issued for areas pushing towards the Susanville and the Janesville areas.

Moreover, there was a possible spot ahead of the Dixie Fire that pushed toward the Janesville community, with some structures reported as lost along the Highway 395 corridor, according to Operations Section Chief Mark Brunton. The fire did spread east of Highway 395.

“As of later yesterday afternoon, into the early evenings, we experienced significant spot fires just to the south of Janesville. Those got established,” Brunton said, noting the extreme, erratic fire behavior. “The fire took off.”

Five strike teams were surged to the zone, along with dozers to defend the area.

“Most of the community of Janesville, for the most part, did not incur into that area,” Brunton said.

As of Tuesday morning, the Dixie Fire has burned 604,511 acres and remains 31 percent contained.

As Red Flag conditions continue into Tuesday, the Susanville and Janesville areas continue to remain a top priority.

There are plans to reopen lines from the Hog Fire and establish new lines to help protect Susanville, according to Brunton.

“We do expect, with the potential weather conditions, that there will be a push towards the community. But we have resources in place, we’re establishing control lines, reopening old control lines from the Hog Fire to give us a good place to stop or herd the fire around the community,” said Brunton.

West Zone

The Morgan Fire, which is west of the Dixie, grew yesterday and is progressing toward the national park. It’s reported to be roughly 10,000 acres and could merge with the Dixie. Operations Section Chief Mark Brunton said progression into the park is preferable to advancement into Tehama County, because the fire will be easier to fight in the park.

There was also an increase in activity in the Warner Valley area, though, the fire did not reach Highway 44 yesterday. There was a lot of activity north of Chester and Westwood, but it was within the burn perimeter. There was some short range spotting, but they were all quickly contained.

As of this morning there was no fire in the Westwood, Clear Creek, Peninsula or Hamilton Branch.

The trajectory of the fire is pushing it toward Janesville and Susanville.

Last night there was a push to evacuate Plumas County residents out of the Lassen County evacuation center to a Portola center, but that effort was thwarted when Highway 395 closed.

East Zone

Operations Section Chief Chad Cook gave his first morning update since the management teams have officially transitioned today. He began by saying that the new team understands the impacts that have taken place on the communities.

He reported that from the origin of the fire at the base of the Feather River Canyon, all the way up through Quincy – there has been no movement of the fire line. There are crews working the area, but primarily to ensure that there are no hotspots. That’s contrasted to moving up into Taylorsville and Indian Valley, where there is still heat on the fire.

The more intense activity is moving up the Beardsley Grade, up to Taylor Lake and Antelope Lake, which continues to pose a problem. Firefighters are trying to drive it into the Walker Fire scar.

Cook said that fie did push out toward Janesville and Susanville, and the East Zone is working with the West Zone to protect those communities.

Here are the Lassen County evacuation orders and warnings as of 9:30 a.m. Tuesday. The emergency alert zone map can be accessed at: community.zonehaven.com

Mandatory Evacuation Orders remain in place for:

  • East of Hwy 395 from Standish Buntingville Rd south to the Milford Grade intersection and north to Baxter Creek
  • Bizz Johnson Trail area south of Hwy 36 from Thumper Hill east to Miller Crossing and south to Bauer Rd
  • Janesville area west of Hwy 395 from the Bass Hill area south to Milford Grade
  • South of Hwy 36 from Devil’s Corral east to Britt Ln and Thumper Hill and south to Cheney Creek Rd
  • Susan River Canyon/Cheney Creek area south of Hwy 36 from Willard Hill east to Korver Rd and south to the intersection of Cheney Cr. Rd and dirt Gold Run Rd.
  • Clear Creek, Westwood, and Pine Town area south of Hwy 36 from the Lassen County line east to the Willard Hill area.
  • North of Hwy 36 from the Lassen County Line east to Coppervale.
  • The area south of Hwy 44 from the Lassen County line east to McCoy Flat including Silver Lake, Juniper Lake, and the Caribou Wilderness Area.

Evacuation Warnings remain in place for:

  • The area west of Richmond Rd and south of Hwy 36 from Thumper Hill east to S Weatherlow St and south to Gold Run Rd
  • Diamond Mountain area from Forest Service Rd 29NO2 south to the Lassen County line
  • West of Richmond Rd from Gold Run Rd south to Childrens Rd but not including roads immediately adjacent to the Golf Course
  • East of Hwy 395 from Baxter Creek south of Sunnyside Rd not to include Sunnyside Rd south to the Herlong Access Rd A25
  • West of Hwy 395 from Milford Grade to the intersection of Herlong Access Rd A25
  • Area south of Hwy 44, north of Hwy 36, west to Hog Flat Reservoir

ROAD CLOSURES:

  • County Road A21 is closed to southbound traffic from Hwy 44
  • Hwy 36 is closed west of Eagle Lake Rd A1
  • Hwy 395 from A25 to Hwy 36 at Richmond Rd
  • Hwy 44 is closed from the junction of Hwy 36 to Hwy 89