Sheriff Growdon gives Dixie Fire update to supervisors

Lassen County officials continue to work with the federal and state teams in Butte and Plumas counties regarding the Dixie Fire, even though the blaze hasn’t burned in county limits as of yet.

As of Wednesday morning, the Dixie Fire has burned about 217,581 acres and is 23 percent contained. There are 35 structures and 19 outbuildings destroyed, with 10,721 remaining threatened.

During the Tuesday Lassen County Board of Supervisors meeting, Lassen County Sheriff Dean Growdon gave an update to the board on the impact on Lassen County and the plans should they have to initiate evacuations in populated areas. On Sunday, the sheriff’s office did issue an evacuation warning for the area south of Mountain Meadows Reservoir, but noted they don’t believe there are residences in the affected area.

Growdon spoke of the fire camp located at George Young Park in Westwood, which was selected for logistical purposes. He mentioned the sheriff’s office has a deputy assigned full time in Westwood, who serves as a direct conduit between the fire crews and the local department.

The sheriff also mentioned they have been  providing mutual aid to Plumas County.

“We’ve done a couple large deployments: That day they had to evacuate Taylorsville and Greenville, we  did an all call and ended up sending 14 units over there to help out that evening,” Growdon said.

He also mentioned the team working to keep information available to Lassen residents, and informing them of evacuations should the need arise.

He said while portions of Lassen County know how evacuations work, like those along the Highway 395 corridor, “Westwood is a different story. We’re trying to educate the people in there, and stop some of the misinformation. So we’re trying to be proactive and educate those people on what they can expect if we have to do evacuations.”

And if the county needs to issue mandatory evacuations, there are places in Plumas from which to draw mutual aid, he added.

While it’s unknown if areas in Lassen will be impacted, Growdon said he and other department heads have come up with “good plans” for all those areas.

“We just have to watch and see what the fire does,” he said.

Members of the board thanked Growdon and the sheriff’s office staff for their work on the fire.