SAN FRANCISCO—The Dixie Fire has grown to 190,625 acres since July 14 and has been 20 percent contained as of Sunday, July 25. Pyro Cumulus clouds caused extreme fire danger and less stable conditions for air tankers.
The fire has been active for 11 days and runs above the Cresta Dam and Feather River Canyon. Recent reports from CAL FIRE advise that intense heat from the fire created pyro cumulus clouds that increase the chance of rapid fire growth. A damage assessment team will be able to survey the area as conditions become safer.
Pyrocumulonimbus clouds are thunder clouds created by intense heat from the Earth’s surface, according to the Royal Meteorological Society. These thunder clouds may become more frequent as a result of hot and dry climate changes.
The Dixie Fire remained active in the West Zone burning in a remote area with limited access and extended travel times that hampered control efforts. According to CAL FIRE, record-setting Energy Release Components and critically low moisture levels have made it difficult to slow the spread of fire.
The East Zone of the fire experienced extreme fire behavior on July 24. The fire burned into Greenville Wye and across Highway 70 and Highway 89. Firefighters engaged in structure protection where communities were most severely impacted including Paxton and India Falls.
The Dixie Fire is in Unified Command with CAL FIRE Incident Management Team 1 overseeing the West Zone and California Interagency Incident Command Team 2 overseeing the East Zone. Over 7,200 firefighters continue to battle six wildfires in California as of July 25.