Chester Fire helped save structures on the West Shore of Lake Almanor. As of this morning, it was reported that two structures and one garage were either damaged or destroyed. Photo courtesy of Chester Fire Department

Dixie Fire simmers under the smoke

Today’s inversion layer helped slow the spread of the Dixie Fire, which gained 2,000 acres since this morning’s report to log in at 434,813 acres, but the containment  has dropped to 21 percent, after sitting steadily at 35 percent.

The count on destroyed structures has risen and is reported to be 184 destroyed main structures and 84 destroyed outbuildings. Assessments have not been completed so this number will continue to rise.

The unified incident command released its 7 p.m. incident update, with the West Zone providing general information regarding weather and the fire, and the East Zone providing more specifics.

West Zone 

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There was a change in the weather pattern today, as smoke lingered over the region, changing the fire environment. Temperatures were cooler, especially in smokey areas, and relative humidity is expected to trend higher.  Fire behavior is expected to be moderated by smoke from this and other fires.  Although this may reduce large runs and spotting, there will still be active fire behavior.  Dry fuels are creating serious resistance to control.  Fire crews continue to provide structure defense, construct, and improve fire line, mop up and patrol. Damage assessment teams are in place, assessing damages, in areas where fire activity has diminished.

Earlier today Operations Section Chief Mike Wink had reported that while the fire encircled the community of Chester proper, no structures within Chester burned. Spots that entered Chester proper were quickly subdued by firefighters.

On the West Shore it was reported that the fire burned in the community of West Almanor, but crews were able to save all but two structures and a garage. The fire burned to Prattville no damage was reported as of earlier today.

The fire has pushed North into Volcanic National Park, which is now closed due to the fire. Firefighters are trying to hold the left flank of the fire.

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East Zone 

Today’s weather inversion moderated fire behavior. The fire is now burning northeast into the 2020 Sheep Fire scar.

Firefighters assessed homes, laid hose and staged sprinklers along State Route 147, along the east shore of Lake Almanor, and in Clear Creek and in Westwood to protect structures should the fire spread further north.

Crews also went direct along the fireline and used heavy equipment to keep the fire south of Dyer Mountain. Firefighters were able to build upon overnight strategic firing operations to keep the fire west of Crescent Mills.

Crews feel confident they will be able to contain a roughly 50-acre spot fire on Lone Rock, which is burning into sparse fuels surrounded by roads that provide a natural barrier.