Crews conduct night firing operations to reduce fuels as the Dixie Fire burns. Photo courtesy of InciWeb

Increased fire behavior expected to continue Monday: 489,287 acres burned, still at 21 percent containment

The Dixie Fire continues to  move into Lassen County and has burned 489,287 acres and remains at 21 percent containment Monday morning.

Due to the blaze, there are 433 structures and 249 other minor structures destroyed, 28 structures and 17 minor structures sustained damage. About 16,035 structures remained threatened.

On Sunday, the Lassen County Sheriff’s Office issued new evacuation warnings for the Janesville area west of Highway 395. All other warnings and orders remain in place.

According to Operations Section Chief Jake Cagle for the east zone of the Dixie Fire, there is structure preparation in the Moonlight Valley area, and the activity through CHina Gulch and Lone Rock was still active last night.

“We’re going to have pretty much a repeat, weather wise, of what we saw. The inversion is going to be lifting about noon today, but we’ll be working on trying to get aircraft in here today,” Cagle said.

He added crews worked with Cal Fire around Bear Valley and helped tie the blaze in the Sheep Fire and Lone Rock areas.

There is an contingency group in Antelope Lake, and there will be contingency plans made around Janesville as well.

He addressed concerns for Diamond Mountain, saying “We continue to do the structure prep in there, but the fire is not into that area.”

In the area south of Hamilton Mountain, he said crews are working to tie into the handline that’s around Mountain Meadows Reservoir; however, the area around Old Haun’s Road continues to be troublesome.

Highway 147 has been prepped, as well as Clear Creek, Hamilton Branch and work will continue in the Westwood area.

Dixie Fire East Zone – Fire behavior overnight was moderate due to a smoke inversion although unlike previous inversions, smoke is expected to quickly move out of the area. Fire behavior is expected to increase with clear air and a warming trend that is forecasted to peak mid-week. Backing fire continued to move towards containment lines near China Gulch overnight. Fire behavior continues to be moderated in the existing fire scars so firefighters have focused on constructing and reinforcing containment lines bridging the Sheep and Walker fire scars.

Dixie Fire West Zone – Fire behavior remained active overnight with areas of clear sky, calm winds, and moderate recovery of relative humidity. The fire will have heavy smoke this morning with some thinning this afternoon. Southwest winds will be up to 17 mph with a 5% cloud cover. Crews will continue to fight fire aggressively, construct direct, and indirect line to secure the fire perimeter. All resources are committed to structure defense in affected communities. Evacuation Warnings and Mandatory Evacuation Orders are constantly changing, please see below for information affecting your county.