Dixie Fire Hits Greenville in Plumas County in Northern California

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Raw video of flames burning through the community of Greenville (KPIX CBS SF Bay Area). YouTube Tips ⓘ

The Dixie Fire in Butte and Plumas Counties, California has been burning since July 13, 2021, originating in the Feather River Canyon near Cresta Dam. The Dixie Fire has burned 305,527 acres (123,642 ha) and was 35% contained by August 2, 2021. The Dixie Fire became the largest wildfire of the 2021 California fire season on July 23, 2021, and by July 30, 2021 was the 7th largest in California history.

July 21. 2021 evacuation orders were issued for Butte Meadows in northeast Butte County and the west shore of Lake Almanor in Plumas County, while the east shore of Almanor and the town of Chester were under an evacuation warning. By July 24 evacuation orders were extended to Greenville, Crescent Mills, Taylorsville, and other communities along the Feather River canyons east and west of the fire. Evacuation orders also included Bucks Lake, Meadow Valley and parts of Quincy. As of July 25, 2021 about 7,400 people in Plumas County, and 100 people in Butte County had been evacuated. Much of downtown Greenville, California was burned down on Wednesday, August 4, 2021.

The Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) has stated the fire may have been started by its equipment at a location near the location of the 2018 Camp Fire origin. A minor power outage was detected on the morning of July 13, 2021 and a PG&E maintenance worker arrived to find a fallen tree on a live power line which had started a small brush fire. Cal Fire sent aircraft to drop water on the fire while ground crews tried to reach the site, but were delayed by poor roads. An illegal drone appeared over the fire and forced a premature halt to aircraft operations, which may have “played a major part in the extension of the fire and leading the wildfire to burn out of control after dark.

The fire progressed rapidly northeast along the Feather River canyon, forcing the closure of Highway 70, the Union Pacific Railroad’s Feather River Route, and nearby areas of the Plumas National Forest and Lassen National Forest. By July 19, 2021 the Dixie Fire had burned 40,500 acres (16,400 ha).

Next, the fire more than doubled in size to 85,000 acres (34,000 ha) in two days. The Dixie Fire was driven by high winds.

As of July 21, 2021 the fire was 15 percent contained, with nearly 4,000 firefighters and numerous aircraft assigned to fight the fire.

By July 23, 2021 flames had extended north, jumping over Butt Valley Reservoir almost to Highway 89 and Lake Almanor. On the east flank, the fire was advancing towards Bucks Lake and Indian Valley, and on the west it was burning towards Butte Meadows. The Dixie Fire grew to 167,430 acres (67,760 ha) with 18% containment on July 23, 2021.

Governor Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency for Plumas, Butte, Lassen and Alpine counties due to the Dixie Fire and other fires burning in the area.

On July 24, 2021 the fire expanded rapidly east, burning through Paxton and then Indian Falls, destroying around a dozen structures. Firefighters successfully kept the fire north of Bucks Lake, while flames approached the Indian Valley communities of Crescent Mills and Taylorsville on the east. Later that night it merged with the smaller Fly Fire, which had started the previous day north of Quincy and burned over 4,300 acres (1,700 ha).The Dixie fire grew to 181,289 acres (73,365 ha) with 19 percent containment.

On July 30, 2021 the Dixie Fire extended to 240,595 acres (97,365 ha), becoming the 11th largest wildfire in California history, having grown 20,000 acres (8,100 ha) in a single day. However, much of the growth was due to islands of unburned vegetation within the fire perimeter, as well as back burning operations to protect homes in Butte Meadows and Jonesville. Firefighters also contained the eastward spread of the fire with back burning from Mount Hough down to Quincy.

As of July 24, 2021 about 4,266 firefighters with 365 engines, 60 water tenders, 31 helicopters, 76 hand crews and 100 dozers were assigned to fight the fire.

On Friday, July 30, 2021 Cal Fire stated that 64 structures had been destroyed and eight damaged. A damage assessment for Greenville was not available early morning Thursday, August 5, 2021. There were no known injuries or fatalities.



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Greenville, California at 316 CA-89 (SOURCE: Image capture: February 2009 ©2021 Google)
Greenville, California at 316 CA-89 (SOURCE: Image capture: February 2009 ©2021 Google).
Satellite View Greenville Aug 5, 2021
Satellite View Greenville Aug 5, 2021.

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