Back-And-Forth On Dixie Fire Progress Frustrating For Firefighters And Evacuees

03 August 2021

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USA – QUINCY (CBS13) – The Dixie fire basecamp in Quincy is supposed to give crews a chance to rest, but the Dixie Fire has them on their toes.

The Dixie Fire forced evacuations until this past weekend when crews finally got a handle on the blaze and evacuees were allowed to return home.

But Cal Fire tells us Monday night winds picked up and dry brush and trees lit up like match sticks, sending hot embers outside of containment lines and sparking spot fires closer to neighborhoods.

This meant families who thought they could go home were forced to leave once again.

“You have to have strong faith,” said Kathleen Lehman, a Dixie Fire evacuee.

And it’s happened before. We spoke to a Cal Fire spokesperson who said the Dixie Fire continues to surprise crews.

Just as they get a handle on it, the fire rages again — the back and forth is frustrating for crews and for evacuees.

“They lifted evacuations and then re-evacuated. There are a lot of people here,” said Dennis Hoyt, a Red Cross volunteer.

Lehman was forced out of her home weeks ago.

“The way the fire smoke and winds had been picking up and the alerts… you just kind of have to be ready,” said Lehman, who was forced back into a Red Cross shelter.

“We’re still here. There’s a sense of safety there, maybe because you left a dangerous area to a safe area,” said Lehman.

Dennis Hoyt volunteers for the Red Cross and says while crews work to protect homes, they’ll provide one for anybody in need.

“We give them a safe place to sleep and have activities and we give them three meals a day. I’m sorry people have to do this,” said Hoyt.

Cal Fire says the biggest concern in the coming days is critical fire weather conditions. High winds could allow the dixie fire to jump containment lines once again creating those spot fires that have the potential to increase the number of acres burned and force more people out of their homes.

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