Crews took advantage of favorable conditions and increased containment on the Dixie Fire. Photo by USFS

Rain, wind forecasted for this weekend: Dixie Fire remains at 86 percent containment

Unburned pockets continue to pick up in the Dixie Fire and crews continue to put out hot spots and strengthen control lines. Upcoming weather may impact the wildfire, and Saturday brings a chance of rain. As of Friday morning, Sept. 17, the fire remains at 86 percent containment and has burned 960,581 acres.

According to the East Zone update, smoke and fire activity has picked up in unburned pockets within containment lines as a result of sustained hot and dry weather.

An approaching weather system is forecasted to bring increased southwest winds today and Saturday, as well as a chance for rain this weekend. Winds have the potential to make the fire more active. Rain is forecasted for late Saturday night into Sunday morning.

According to Incident Meteorologist Ben Bartos, he said he expects the area to receive a wetting rain.

Firefighters have been preparing by reinforcing containment lines by adding mopping depth thereby minimizing the potential for any fire spread or spotting.

Yesterday, firefighters responded to reports of fire activity near Silver Lake Road, Turner Ridge, areas near Buck’s Lake and west of Lake Davis, while elements of the U.S. Army responded to activity near Last Chance Meadow. Forest fuels are breaking historical lows and are very dry, and crews are beginning to see a rekindling of fire activity interior of the fire perimeter. Hotshot crews near the Devil’s Punchbowl area continued mopping up interior heat along steep and rugged terrain while helicopter crews dowsed hot spots identified by infrared sensors with aerial water drops. Crews patrolled the perimeter overnight to scout for heat and look for trouble spots. There were no issues.

As smoke increases and the potential for fire activity increases, today’s focus will be on reinforcing containment lines, maintaining patrols throughout the fire perimeter, and mopping up lines. Firefighters also will backhaul equipment off the line at areas of lowest risk for fire activity and focus on fire suppression repair, which is essential work to leave a better landscape behind and support Plumas National Forest partners.

Fire suppression repair is actions taken to mitigate damages and minimize potential soil erosion. Repair includes removing hazard trees and repairing the hand and dozer fire lines, roads, trails, staging areas, safety zones and drop points used during fire suppression efforts. To date, firefighters have completed 88 miles of suppression repair line, or about 4 percent of total mapped line, currently identified with more line being surveyed daily. Land inside the fire perimeter is still closed to the public.