CHICO, Calif. - Two miles north of the Dixie Fire’s edge near Lake Almanor, fire crews conducted a major backfiring operation.
Dixie Fire Public Information Officer Eduardo Gonzalez said the purpose of the backfire is to allow firefighters to create a safe zone from burning embers ahead of the flames.
“There was a backfiring operation along the west shore of Lake Almanor about two miles from the head of the fire, so as those ember casts go, it’s already been ignited where conditions were favorable,” Gonzalez explained.
Backfires are extremely dangerous for fire crews and need to be done at the right time in the right area, he continued.
According to CAL FIRE, with the wind blowing south overnight Friday and already being in an area with fuel that hasn’t burned in over 20 years, it was the right recipe to get ahead of the fire to help protect those in the Lake Almanor area.
With more structures being threatened, Gonzalez explained that people should understand that "structures" do not necessarily mean "homes."
“'Structures' doesn’t necessarily mean a 'house,'” he said. “It encompasses everything from outhouses to shops to homes. Basically, everything that is a structure. I know there is a lot of anxiety behind seeing that number grow but it could also mean a lot of different things," he continued.
Fire personnel at the Dixie Fire base camp in Chico said there will be more firefighters and support personnel arriving throughout the weekend.