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This map shows the heat of fire activity at 2 a.m. this morning, Aug. 13

Aug 13: The one-month anniversary of the Dixie Fire; how many more?

Today is Aug. 13, is the one-month anniversary of the Dixie Fire. It’s also Friday, the 13th — auspicious? Hope not.

Spoke too soon. The repopulation of Chester and Lake Almanor West has been canceled due to increased fire activity. The plan seemed a little shaky to begin with — a one-time opportunity to caravan through a dangerous expanse of Highway 36 — that if you missed it, the only way to get into Chester would have been through the west end of Highway 36. Even during last night’s briefing Operations Section Chief Mark Brunton talked about the opportunity to repopulate Chester being days away, only to be followed by the Lassen and Plumas sheriff’s offices laying out the repopulation plan.

Last night the fire became very active on the West Zone and crews were aggressively engaged in structure and perimeter control. A journalist on scene described the fire jumping A21 after crews had built an aggressive containment line. Then it spotted Highway 36 and the Johnson Grade, putting Westwood and the north part of Lake Almanor in the fire’s eye.

Couldn’t agree more with this quote from Zeke Lunder, fire behavior specialist, this morning: As of 2:30 a.m., Westwood, Clear Creek, Hamilton Branch, and the Peninsula have NOT been impacted by the fire, but it is doing its best to kill us all with anxiety before it gets there. 

Over night, the fiber optic cable was damaged and is causing intermittent issues using 911 within Lassen County. Thunderstorms and triple digits are predicted in fire the area again today.

More details will be presented as they become available.

East Zone

On the 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.

Planning Operations Section Chief Jake Cagle said the southern perimeter to Taylorsville remains in containment and crews maintain surveillance in the area. He said that crews tried to do some tactical firing on Keddie Point, but the flames were too high. Yesterday, at about 9 p.m., the fire pushed toward Antelope Lake. Crews are putting in contingency lines and doing structure prep in Cradle Valley, as the fire is expected to continue its push in that direction today.

Everything from Lone Rock into Sheep Fire scar looks good. Working on a break around Janesville. Coming into Dyer, no significant activity last night, but the West Zone pulled a lot of resources out to protect A21.

Another challenging day is forecast with the weather.

The Dixie Fire is 517,945 acres and 31 percent contained.

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