Strong winds expected on the Dixie Fire

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The fire has burned 569,000 acres in Northern California

2:07 p.m. PDT August 16, 2021

Map of the Dixie Fire
Map of the Dixie Fire. The white line was the perimeter at 11:30 p.m. PDT August 15, 2021. The red dots represent heat detected by a satellite at 3:34 a.m. PDT Aug 16, 2021.

The heavy smoke layer that we have seen for days continued Sunday night to dampen fire activity on the Dixie Fire between Chester and Susanville, California. But on Monday Red Flag Warnings are in effect for critical fire weather conditions — 22 mph west-southwest winds gusting to 30 mph along with temperatures in the triple digits with relative humidity in the low teens. This could increase fire activity, pushing it to the east-northeast.

The Hot-Dry-Windy Index for the area on Monday is far above the 95th percentile. By Wednesday it will drop to around the 50th percentile before rising to around the 90th on Friday. The Hot-Dry-Windy Index is a prediction of potential fire spread. It is described as being very simple and only considers the atmospheric factors of heat, atmospheric moisture, and wind. To be more precise, it is a multiplication of the maximum wind speed and maximum vapor pressure deficit  in the lowest 50 or so millibars in the atmosphere. It does not consider fuel moisture.

(To see all articles on Wildfire Today about the Dixie Fire, including the most recent, click HERE.)

Hot-Dry-Windy Index Dixie Fire
Hot-Dry-Windy Index for the area of the Dixie Fire Monday, August 16, 2021.

On Sunday the most active portions of the fire were:

  • Northwest side as it continues to spread through Lassen Volcanic National Park.
  • North-central, northeast of Chester and northwest of Westwood.
  • Mountain Meadows Reservoir, to the west and northeast.
  • West of Antelope Lake, where the fire has moved into the 2019 Walker Fire.

Damage assessments are ongoing on the Dixie Fire. To date the teams have documented as destroyed, 633 residences and 134 commercial structures. Maps are available showing the status of structures.

The fire has burned 569,000 acres.

Resources assigned to the incident include 569 fire engines, 194 water tenders, 89 hand crews, and 198 dozers for a total of 6,579 personnel.

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Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire.

5 thoughts on “Strong winds expected on the Dixie Fire”

  1. For days I’ve been wondering about Susanville and Janesville. It now appears that the Dixie threat to both is becoming apparent. The recent burn scars west of Susanville have slowed Dixie but it is working its way around them and perhaps eventually, through them. It’s hard to believe but late this afternoon a large spot fire with its own spots was discovered 5 miles east of the fire perimeter and is less than 5 miles west of Janesville with no fire scars between. This does not bode well for the 395/36/44 corridor. Plus, recent lightning strikes took off yesterday afternoon WNW of Dixie and are rip-roaring with the threat of eventually merging with Dixie.. What a project fire!! LR

  2. I think it’s past time that there is an Onsite Interagency Review of the Strategies and Tactics being deployed on the Dixie Fire.

    1. Rocky and Jerry are two of the best, lots of years between them. I’m sure Cal Fire has similar leadership, although I believe they should not be managing wilderness and Lassen Park ground , use them where they do best, in the WUI protecting structures and evacuating residents. Zone the fire again to manage Fed ground.

      Any review should focus on lessons learned and not just strategy and tactical errors if any, Monday morning quarterback? always will be those who may have done things differently. Different agencies managing the incident requires a lot of cooperation.

  3. Not to jinx anything,, I think it’s a testament from the knowledge, skill and experience of all leadership on these incidents, all up and down the line, that there have been no major accidents or injuries this year. Keep praying for the safety of all.


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