Aug. 24 p.m. update on the Dixie – West calming down; East heating up

Another day spent on the fire and a little more progress on containment. The Dixie Fire is now 733,475 acres and is 43 percent contained.

West Zone

“I think we’ve won the battle,” said Operations Section Chief Mark Brunton in discussing Janesville. Crews are now working on all of the control lines there and around Milford. “In the next coming days, expect to see a lot of black line on that map,” he adde

Ditto for the Westwood section of the West Zone, which includes the Lake Almanor Basin, Westwood and toward Susanville. “It is looking really good.” Though not a threat to containment lines, Brunton said crews are receiving continuous calls from people seeing smoke. “Those are basically well into the burn,” he said of the incidents.

That point was reiterated by Cal Fire’s Scott Packwood as he pointed out that “smokes can linger for many months.” Resources are focused on stopping the perimeter spread, rather than extinguishing the interior fire.

Moving north of 36 into the Lassen Sector, crews are putting in dozer and hand lines and “it’s just going to be a work in progress.”

Fire continues to burn in the national park, but it hasn’t burned north out of the park.

Sheriff Dean Growdon said that most areas in Lassen County have been repopulated with the exception of Juniper and Silver lakes.

Incident Commander Billy See said that over 5,000 personnel remain on the fire, though some resources have been reallocated to the Caldor Fire, which is closing in on the Lake Tahoe Basin. “We will retain resources to keep the perimeter under control,” he said.

East Zone

The action was more intense on the East Zone today, where crews continue to battle in the Genesee/Taylorsville areas and work to keep the fire from threatening East Quincy, Quincy and the Highway 70 corridor.

In the Genesee Valley, along the old Walker Fire scar, firefighters tried to hold the direct line with helicopter and tanker support. Mop up and prep continues around houses in the valley.
The Taylorsville area was a focus of operations today as the fire backs its way down toward the community. The fire continues to spread with material rolling off the hill and starting spot fires that then, burn back up to the main fire. The Taylorsville, Indian Valley and Greenville fire departments assisted in the installation of an extensive hydrant operation with trunk lines that run throughout Taylorsville. These wide diameter lines will be fed by large volume 2,100 gallon per minute pumps, drafting from the creek that push enough water to fill a water tender in two minutes. Portable tanks are also being set up throughout town to provide additional water. OES has also sent a contingent of engines to assist with structure defense in Taylorsville.
Very large air tankers (VLATs) dropped retardant south and west of Grizzly Peak in the afternoon with support from helicopters dropping water. Other crews made progress on both sides of the Grizzly Peak spot fire, also with the help of aircraft. Three indirect contingency lines on Mt Hough should be near completion in a few days.
Weather tomorrow is expected to be a copy of today with the fire still active in the early morning.