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Stiff Winds Hampering Efforts To Contain Dixie Fire

Dixie Fire.jpg
Intermountain Forest Service
Flickr / Creative Commons
Firefighters stand in a field before a towering wall of smoke behind a forest of evergreen trees.

In 35 days, the Dixie Fire has consumed more than 678 thousand acres making it the state’s largest single fire ever. It's destroyed 1,200 structures, including at least 645 homes. CAL FIRE says the fire is 35 percent contained.

CAL FIRE Chief Thom Porter says although they’ve had some success establishing lines, the blaze is proving to be exceedingly resistant to control and not going to end anytime soon.

“When the winds come," he said, "we're finding that fires are spotting in some cases miles outside of that fire because of the sheer magnitude of the material that's burning and the heat that's being produced carrying large embers, chunks, dropping them way out in front of the fire in receptive fuel beds.”

He added that people throughout the state need to prepare for emergencies, saying,“Vigilance, vigilance, vigilance for every Californian. Also, know every acre in California can burn someday. Just make sure you're ready when it does.”

The shifting Diablo winds buffeting the state are hampering efforts to bring the Dixie Fire and other wildfires under control.

Meanwhile, PG&E announced Wednesday night that it restored power to more than half of its customers affected by the cut in electricity that began Tuesday.

PG&E calls them Public Safety Power Shutoffs, and they’re an attempt to prevent the utility's equipment from sparking other wildfires during dry and windy weather conditions. The planned outages affected thousands of customers in the North Bay counties of Napa, Sonoma, and Solano.