The flames of the Dixie Fire exhibited extreme behavior in the communities surrounding Lake Almanor on Thursday night, with the fire jumping the fireline and quickly heading towards Westwood. A courageous effort by firefighters seemed to have kept the fire out of the evacuated town of Westwood for the time being.
“Some crews caught in it said they didn’t think they were going to make it,” wrote frontline reporter Brett Forrest on Twitter. “Thick black smoke. Had to drive with 5 ft visibility.”
Scary video shows the fire activity on Thursday night near Westwood:
The increased fire activity was a shock to frontline workers, who had planned to repopulate the communities of Chester, Lake Almanor West and Prattville today. Those repopulation efforts have been officially cancelled as fire officials look to take extreme caution in the area.
The Dixie Fire has grown to the single largest wildfire in California’s history, with only the August Complex Fire (consisting of multiple fire merged together) in 2020 burning larger. Burning at 517,945 acres, the Dixie has already devastated the community of Greenville and has burned through portions of Lassen Volcanic National Park, which remains closed to visitors.