Rain helps moderate Dixie Fire activity, isolated smoldering still in some areas

The recent rain lessened activity for some portions of the Dixie Fire, allowing for crews to focus more on suppression repair in some areas. As of Wednesday morning, Sept. 29, the fire remains at 963,309 acres and 94 percent containment.

The west zone of the Dixie Fire received between 0.03-0.60 inch of rain from the cold front that moved across the fire area yesterday. The majority of the fire averaged between 0.10-0.20 inch of rain. Due to the recent precipitation and cooler temperatures, fire behavior was moderated yesterday allowing firefighters to focus on the priorities of suppression repair and backhaul of unneeded equipment and supplies. The bulk of suppression repair activity took place within Lassen Volcanic National Park and on National Forest lands just north of the park, in addition to the Silver Lake area on the east side of the fire.

Minimal fire activity is expected today with cooler temperatures and light winds. Isolated smoke is expected to continue from pockets of heat that remain in heavy fuels. The additional needle cast from scorched trees impacted by the previous high wind speeds is unlikely to burn due to higher moisture levels.

Initial attack resources will be available across the fire to respond to any increase in fire activity. Suppression repair work will continue within and adjacent to Lassen Volcanic National Park. Chipping operations will occur on the east side of the fire along the Highway 44 corridor to clean up remaining slash from suppression activities. Air resources will be available to make service calls and support resources on the ground.

In the east zone, rain also moistened fuels and minimized fire activity but isolated smoldering still occurred in some areas. Firefighters took action on three smoke reports; others were interior and no threat to containment. The Diamond Mountain Type 1 Crew assessed the line at Devil’s Punchbowl and found no heat. Firefighters finished mopping up on the west side of the Milford spotfire. On Grizzly Ridge, firefighters removed hazard trees and continued to mop up isolated hotspots and break up dozer berms holding heat. They also found heat still on the ground in shaded and protected areas near the Last Chance Road. Crews consolidated downed timber there and fixed dozer line.

More unmapped dozer line was found north of Antelope Lake. Resource advisors will assess that area and make repair recommendations. Crews made good progress removing hazard trees near Antelope Lake and on repairs to the 2800 Road system. They also made headway along the Pacific Crest Trail and between Old Mill and Spanish Cabin. Work is nearly complete in Dixie Valley; however, lots of work still needs to be done around the archaeological exclusion zone to the north. Work also continued along power lines on the east side of the fire. Handcrews started working toward Taylorsville, restacking scattered debris piles that will be burned in winter as conditions allow. Firefighters moved timber and heavy debris and continued suppression repair between Frenchman’s Lake and Lake Davis.

Today, the Diamond Mountain Crew resumes their assessment at Devil’s Punchbowl. Firefighters continue mop up at Grizzly Ridge and other hotspots. They also will continue suppression repair along the Pacific Crest Trail toward Quincy and near Taylorsville, Dixie Valley, Janesville and other areas. A new Hazard Tree Group will work in the Mt. Hough area. Initial Attack will assist as requested and follow up on smoke reports. Three helicopters remain assigned to the East Zone.