If you remain in Taylorsville or on Arlington Road – get out. That’s the message that Plumas County Sheriff Todd Johns and Incident Commander Mike Minton stressed during tonight’s briefing on the Dixie and Fly fires.
Both areas are under mandatory evacuation. Sheriff Johns said he knew that residents were still in the area and he said, “I highly encourage you to evacuate.”
“Threats and risks associated with this fire are very real,” said Commander Minton, adding later that “Taylorsville, Crescent Mills, and Greenville are our main concerns tomorrow. … If you occupy one of the mandatory evacuation areas, please leave.”
As of tonight the Dixie Fire is 181,289 acres, 20 percent contained and now has 5,022 personnel assigned.
In addition to the threat to Taylorsville, firefighters dealt with a surge at the Greenville Wye and were forced to evacuate to safer areas. “The bulk of the activity today was at the Greenville Wye,” said John Goss, the operations section chief responsible for the East Zone of the fire.
Goss said that the area from the penstocks up to Bucks Lake is stable, and that from Bucks to Silver lake dozer line is going in. A mobile retardant base has been established at Bucks Lake. Plumas National Forest Supervisor Chris Carlton said that earlier in the day the forest had authorized bulldozer use in the Bucks Lake Wilderness. “We are going to do what we have to do to protect our communities, “ he said.
Goss also covered the Fly Fire and said that the “right side didn’t do much” — that would be the piece above Quincy. The activity was on the head of the fire that crested Mount Hough. There were some spot fires, but crews worked to protect the communications equipment located there.
Operations Section Chief Mike Wink presented the update on the West Zone which runs up the west side of the Highway 70 corridor to Caribou and on to Lake Almanor. Wink said that the two zones are collaborating on the Highway 70 corridor.
Wink said that the south edge, the bottom of the fire, continues to hold as it has for the past several days.
Toward the Philbrook area on the left flank, there was a slopover yesterday, but firefighters were able to contain it and it held today.
In the Butte Meadows/Jonesville areas the fire was active again today; yesterday it spread to the west, but was within containment lines. That activity put the area into evacuation yesterday. Efforts today were to reinforce the containment line.
Wink said that Teams 1 and 2 were collaborating on the Highway 89 corridor. Even though there are two teams responsible for different zones, they remain under one unified command and collaborate and share resources as one.
He also discussed the efforts to protect Humbug and Caribou and the firing operation to protect Prattville that has held for two days.
“This is a pretty dire weather forecast,” said Julia Ruthford, the incident meteorologist, as she summed up her presentation.
Ruthford reiterated the forecast that she shared last night – that the dry, hot weather pattern that has been over the fire for the past few days, begins to change tomorrow with monsoonal moisture coming in and will continue through the week. The current pattern has produced a lot of smoke and produced hazardous air quality throughout the area.
The incoming moisture will cause the pyrocumulus clouds that have been forming over the fires to likely grow even taller and bring more instability with wind and potential lightning. The potential for thunderstorms begins Monday and lasts through Thursday. The question is will they bring precipitation or just dry lightning and wind.
Comments from Plumas National Forest Supervisor
“I know this is huge; it looks intimidating,” Supervisor Chris Carlton, said of the entire fire situation, but assured those watching that “we are going to get there.”
He advised residents that “if you’re in an area, that’s advisory, please be prepared to get out.” He said that he knew a lot of Quincy residents had already evacuated, and he expressed appreciation to the community for working to support the firefighters
The National Guard is assisting in the firefight by providing fix-winged aircraft and helicopters.
There’s a process involved to lift evacuation orders that involves a number of agencies.
Incident Command will present updated info at 7 a.m., in the afternoon, and 7 p.m.