A gutted Jeep is just one of a host of vehicles destroyed in Canyon Dam when fire ripped through the area Aug. 5. Photo by Shawndra West

Dixie Fire evening update: Approaching weather system concerns firefighters

As of this evening, Aug. 11, the Dixie Fire has grown to 505,413 acres and is 30 percent contained. More than 1,1oo structures have been destroyed including 582 single family residences.

Tonight’s community meeting focused on the East Zone, while tomorrow’s reverts to the West Zone.

The East Zone is continuing to hold along the southern perimeter. The inversion layer did not lift today and crews have completed control lines around the southern perimeter of the fire. This means that the lines in place from Butte Meadows to Taylorsville can be expected to stop the fire’s spread.

Operations Section Chief Kyle Jacobson said that the fire at Keddie Point fire got over the containment line, and the plan is to slowly backfire it to keep it out of the valley and North Arm.


In Wilcox Valley, the fire progressed farther fast. Everything in Lone Rock continues to hold and the fire has checked itself up in the Sheep Fire scar. He said that East Zone crews are working with West Zone crews on Hamilton Mountain. And they are working together to put a fuel break around Janesville.

In the Dyer Mountain area, crews went direct and plumbed it today.

Looking ahead, monsoonal moisture is expected to come into the area with the possibility of wind and dry lightning strikes. Incident Commander Rocky Opliger said this makes the work of firefighters even more dangerous.

Plumas County Undersheriff Chad Hermann presented an evacuation update that was published earlier today. He also addressed repopulating areas that have been under evacuation and all of the steps that are necessary to ensure that the area is safe for residents to reenter.

He said that it’s important first and foremost to make sure the fire won’t come back. Hazards must be mitigated. The power must be on. Gas and propane tanks have to be checked. The roadways must be safe. In areas such as Greenville, an urban search building team comes in. And a secondary search is done to ensure that there are no victims. Once that is mitigated, the sheriff’s office will escort people in to see their homes. Hermann said the sheriff is working to make this happen as quickly as is safe.


Plumas National Forest Supervisor Chris Carlton said he was working to open campgrounds not in evacuated areas of the National Forest to provide a place for evacuees to camp.

In response to a question regarding the Rush Creek area and why it was still under mandatory evacuation, Jacobson said the fire was hung up in the hillside, so crews were able to do a little firing to make it more safe. There are still resources working in the area so until they are done, the evacuation order will remain.

Hermann also used the briefing to warn of GoFundMe scams in which real residents’ names are used but the fund is set up by people unknown to them. There are also false nonprofits seeking to raise funds. Hermann ensures individuals to do their research before donating.

As for the West Zone, while no detailed information was presented tonight during the printed update, this was the latest info as of this morning:


Chester: This community was impacted mostly on the periphery. As the fire was coming through, firefighters “did a really good job saving the community. There are still a lot of resources in there to deal with spots and drop hazard trees, with significant progress in the past couple of days. Cal Fire is working with law enforcement and infrastructure partners to facilitate people moving back in, and within the next 24 to 36 hours more details will be released.

Hamilton Branch: This area is on the zone boundary of East/West zone and is “looking really good.” Firefighters from the two zones are working together to put in containment and contingency lines.

West Shore: Mop up continues along the Highway 89 corridor, where smoldering continues.

East Shore: Structure prep is in place.