More thunderstorm activity anticipated Friday: Dixie Fire burns 517,945 acres, 31 percent contained

Yesterday’s thunderstorms prompted the Dixie Fire’s growth in several areas last night, officials shared Friday morning.

“Well, we all saw what happened yesterday. Those thunderstorms popped off about 1 p.m,” West Zone incident meteorologist Joe Goudwards said during the morning briefing. He continued to caution firefighters to continue to be on the lookout for more thunderstorms today.

“We’re going to see a little bit more coverage. I think we’re going to see more in the way of thunderstorm activity,” he said, adding there will be a bit more moisture today, but the atmosphere is still unstable.

As of Friday morning, the wildfire has burned 517,945 acres and is at 31 percent containment.

According to the West Zone night operations, there was some increased activity Thursday night with 450 acres burning across County Road A21, but crews were putting in dozer line around the new jump. The night operations official also said the fire did move down to Highway 36 around Division U of the blaze, but it was being held at the road.

Moreover, the Plumas County Sheriff announced this morning, Aug. 13, that the plan to repopulate Chester and the west shore of Lake Almanor has been canceled out of extreme caution to protect public safety. Overnight, there was an increase in fire activity with a number of spot fires along Johnson’s Grade and the Highway 36 corridor (which was where the caravan was supposed to proceed at 11 a.m.).

Evacuees will not be allowed to return to Chester, Lake Almanor West and Prattville from any direction. This includes Big Meadows, Rocky Point Campground, and the Canyon Dam Boat Launch.

The Lassen County evacuation orders and warnings all remain in place, including the mandatory orders for the Westwood, Silver Lake, Clear Creek and Pine Town areas. Warnings remained in place for the Janesville area west of Highway 395.

For the East Zone Update morning video update, Operations Section Chief Jake Cagle noted the fire did make a push toward Antelope Lake yesterday at about 8 and 9 p.m.. he said crews continue to work on the contingency line, in addition to structure prep in Craddle Valley. The fire around Lone Rock to the Sheep scar remains in the footprint.

According to the written morning update:

Dixie Fire West Zone — The Dixie Fire continues to burn in remote areas with limited access. Crews are aggressively engaged in structure protection and perimeter control. Fiber optic cable damage is causing intermittent issues using 911 within Lassen County. Thunderstorms and triple digits are predicted in fire the area today. Evacuation Warnings and Evacuation Orders could change every day. California historically experiences some of the most devastating wildfires. Do Not Let Your Guard Down! To learn how to prevent sparking a wildfire visit www.readyforwildfire.org.

Dixie Fire East Zone — Fire continues to back down on parts of Keddie Ridge and additional dozer line was constructed. Forty thousand gallons of ground- based retardant were applied for structure protection at the bottom of the ridge. Dozers continued to construct line in Wilcox Valley but were pushed further east due to fire intensity. Fire activity remains low in the limited fuels of the Sheep fire scar.