On Sept 4, the Joint Base Lewis-McChord Soldiers and the BLM - CA Folsom Lake Veterans Hand Crew constructed handline, cleared brush, and dealt with hot spots along the handline north of Lake Davis and Portola. Photo by Joe Bradshaw, BLM

Fire weather watch begins today: Dixie Fire burns 927,320 acres, 59 percent contained

A fire weather watch is moving into the area of the Dixie Fire today through Friday, and yesterday new evacuations were issued for the Old Station area and Lassen County residences north of Highway 44 from the Lassen County line east to Pitville Road and north to Blacks Mountain/Forest Services Route 32NO2.

As of Thursday morning, Sept. 9, the Dixie Fire burned 927,320 acres and is 59 percent contained.

According to the Incident Meteorologist for the West Zone, around mid-day, a cold front is coming in from the west, and there may be isolated thunderstorms possible over the fire. The meteorologist added the main push of the front will be early tomorrow, with increased winds possible.

In the Dixie Fire West Zone, The West Zone is working in conjunction with the East Zone south of Janesville and Milford, along the Highway 395 corridor and up to the escarpment. Fire crews have installed thousands of feet of hose, scrapped 10-blade-wide dozer lines, and reinforced containment lines with retardant from the mobile retardant base in Herlong.

Two type 1 hotshot hand-crews had success yesterday and overnight building direct containment line and putting out hot spots on the steep slopes of the escarpment above Highway 395 south of Milford. Today, hand-crews continue to hold the fire in the very steep terrain northwest of Dixie Peak, and crews and heavy equipment are building contingency lines along the Beckwourth- Genesee Road.

The northern portion continued to have active runs in the brush and ground fuels with occasional group torching. Interior islands continued to burn and smolder through the night. Heavy fuels continue to consume throughout the fire perimeter.

Additional resources assigned to the Shasta sector work to build and reinforce lines today due to the predicted fire activity in the area. Additional engines, hand crews, and fuels reduction projects are ongoing in the area. These additional resources will also help to strengthen lines on the fires edge and to prepare for the extreme weather event predicted for this Thursday and Friday.

The California National Guard continue their efforts with West Zone crews in the Lassen Sector on north side of Highway 44. The Burlington Northern Santa Fe fire train continues to deliver 30,000 gallons of water, per load, to fill water tenders, allowing for a faster return to the fire today.

Smoldering vegetation is still expected In the Lake Almanor area. Crews aggressively continue to reinforce the lines in very steep and rugged terrain in the Lassen Volcanic National Park.

In the Dixie Fire East Zone, very little fire growth occurred yesterday and overnight in the East Zone of the Dixie Fire. Across the fire area, fire continued to consume isolated internal pockets of unburned fuel as well as rekindling fallen pine needles in places, occasionally creating areas of smoke, and embers thrown from the flare-ups threaten containment lines. Fire on the north of Grizzly Ridge has burned into light re-growth from the 2019 Walker Fire, and in the southeast corner, fire burned into the 2021 Sugar Fire scar and stopped.

Last night’s night shift included over 250 firefighters, which is a significant increase in fresh personnel over previous shifts. Crews are patrolling the entire fire area day and night, providing structure protection, responding to smoke reports, and closely monitoring containment lines.

Fire continues to burn in the very steep terrain of the Devil’s Punchbowl south of Taylorsville. Moderate fire activity in the area involves backing and short flanking runs in ground fuels occurring in the heat of the day.