Updated at 7:17 p.m. PDT July 20, 2021
The Dixie Fire 13 air miles northeast of Paradise, California was very active again Tuesday afternoon. The convection column of smoke did not reach the towering heights seen in previous days, probably because the 15 to 20 mph winds recorded at Flea Mountain gusting between 20 and 28 mph mitigated massive vertical development, blowing the smoke rapidly off to the northeast.
(To see all articles on Wildfire Today about the Dixie Fire, including the most recent, click HERE.)
A satellite overflight at 3 p.m. (see the map above) showed large amounts of heat on the north and northeast sides — north and south of Highway 70. At that time the fire was moving closer to the communities of Twain, Caribou, and Paxton.
2:23 p.m. PDT July 20, 2021
The Dixie Fire grew by tens of thousands of acres Monday, reaching 59,984 acres by the end of the day. It now stretches for about 15 miles along the Feather River Canyon and Highway 70, an area known for its steep, barely accessible terrain.
The fire is burning on both sides of the canyon, an area where firefighters have in the past had problems with radio communication caused by the steep slopes.
It is moving to the north and northeast during the day. After sunset Monday, down-canyon winds brought smoke to lower elevations south and southwest of the fire.
Resources assigned Tuesday morning included 63 hand crews, 23 helicopters, 141 engines, 49 dozers, and 29 water tenders for a total of 2,409 personnel.
The fire has burned very close to communities in Feather River Canyon, including Dixie, Tobin , Belden, Storrie, Rock Creek, and Rodgers Flat. There are reports that at least two structures have been destroyed, but CAL FIRE has not released any information on the topic since the fire started on July 14. Other towns north and northeast of the fire are Caribou, Twain, Paxton, Crescent Mills, and Greenville. Monday night Lake Almanor was about 9 miles northeast of the head of the fire.
The image below shows a sample of the aircraft that were working on the fire at 1:13 p.m. PDT July 20, 2021. The fire is at upper-right, and the Chico Airport, where some air tankers are reloading, is at lower-left. Others not seen were flying south to reload at Sacramento McClellan Airport. Observed at this point in time were several helicopters, an MD87, a BAe-146, two S-2Ts, air attack aircraft, and two military C-130s equipped with Modular Airborne FireFighting Systems.