Dixie Fire burns nearly 104K acres, is 17% contained


BUTTE COUNTY, Calif. (KTXL) — Cal Fire crews are continuing their efforts to contain the Dixie Fire along the burn scar of the disastrous 2018 Camp Fire in Butte County.

The Dixie Fire, burning northeast of Paradise, started July 13. By Thursday morning, Cal Fire said the fire grew more than 10,000 acres overnight and had burned 103,910 acres and was 17% contained. 

Pacific Gas & Electric has reported to California utility regulators that its equipment may have been involved in the fire’s start.

PG&E equipment has repeatedly been linked to major wildfires, including the Camp Fire that ravaged the town of Paradise and killed 85 people.

A Google Earth Studio visualization of the Dixie Fire on July 19. (Courtesy: CEDR Digital Corps)

More than 1,500 structures are threatened by the fire, which is bordered by the Union Pacific Rail Line and Highway 70. Eight structures have been destroyed.

The Plumas County Sheriff’s Office said structures have been lost in the Feather River Canyon but could not provide any additional details about the destruction.

Between Wednesday and Thursday, crews continued construction on control lines and engaged in structure defense as the Dixie Fire continued to move northeast, Cal Fire said.

Crews have had to battle the blaze mostly from the air due to difficult terrain. The effort was delayed for a time when civilian drones were detected in the area.

Narrow roads into the fire area have been closed to all but fire personnel. 

In some places where firefighters are not able to access the flames by road, they’re using Union Pacific engines, with water tanks in the front and back. The engines travel the tracks on the west side of the Feather River, which also provides a convenient water source for helicopters.

Monday, the National Weather Service posted a video of what they said was a pyrocumulonimbus cloud over the fire. NASA has called the latter the “fire-breathing dragon of clouds” because they are so hot and big that they create their own weather.

NWS Sacramento also reported seeing lightning strikes that were likely associated with the clouds created by the Dixie Fire.

Cal Fire is directing residents to their county’s CodeRed emergency alert system for evacuation information:

The Governor’s Office of Emergency Services said nearly 4,000 Californians, the majority from Plumas County, have had to evacuate due to wildfires in the state.

Wednesday, The Plumas County Sheriff’s Office issued an evacuation order for the west shore of Lake Almanor, including Canyon Dam and residents along Highway 147 from Highway 89 to Quarry Road.

An evacuation warning was issued for the Chester and Lake Almanor Peninsula, including the greater Chester area, Hamilton Branch, Lake Almanor Peninsula and the east shore.

For online resources and the latest information on evacuation orders, click or tap here.

Officials shared an evacuation map, with areas in red representing mandatory evacuations and the yellow areas being evacuation warning zones.

Lassen National Forest officials have also issued a closure as of Friday.

Camp Creek Road in Plumas County and Bucks Lake Road from Riverdance west to Mountain House in Butte County are closed. All highway closures are being reported by Caltrans on its website.

The following locations have been listed as evacuation centers:

  • Springs of Hope Church, 59 Bell Lane in Quicy, CA
  • Memorial Hall, 180 Gay Street in Chester, CA

Click or tap here for additional information.