Devastating: Dixie Fire levels Gold Rush-era town of Greenville
GREENVILLE, Calif. - Sadly familiar scenes of charred rubble have come to another California town: Greenville, a Gold Rush-era town located in the northern Sierra Nevada.
On Wednesday, the Dixie Fire engulfed the small community of some 800 people, located on Highway 89 in Plumas County.
Video shows a hotel, bar, gas station and many other buildings burned to the ground.
The town had already been evacuated and no injuries were reported.
People watching from around Lake Almanor were aghast as Greenville's dark smoke billowed into the sky.
"It's going, as we speak the town of Greenville is on fire, " said Tommy Pass of Prattville, a town that is also under mandatory evacuation, but so far been spared.
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"Greenville and Chester both have fire, one to the east and one to the west of us, but for some reason our little town has held with a back-burn lit about a week ago," said Pass.
The Dixie Fire has consumed nearly 280,000 acres and destroyed 45 structures, a number that will rise with Greenville's losses.
About 15,000 more structures are threatened, with numerous communities advised to clear-out Wednesday.
Pass and a handful of others instead stuffed their possessions into their vehicles and parked them on the water's edge.
"I'm pretty safe, living on the lake," said Pass.
"I can jump on my boat if I need to get out, but if I'm here, I can do everything I can to save my home."
Pass admits when the Dixie Fire began three weeks ago, he never dreamed it would be ravaging Lake Almanor communties.
"It's this wind, we're driven by mother nature at this point, " said Pass, "and we're sad for the loss of forest and towns around us."
The Dixie Fire is now the 8th largest fire in California history, burning in four counties, with almost 5,000 firefighters assigned.
"Highway 36 got blocked by fire so resources couldn't make it up to Chester," described Marin County Battalion Chief Graham Groneman, leading a strike team on the Dixie Fire.
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Marin County has about 60 personnel and 5 engines up north.
Wednesday evening, Groneman called his headquarters in Woodacre with an update.
He described saving homes, only to have the fire roar back into the same areas again.
With winds pushing fire over highways and containment lines, Marin firefighters forfeited the rest-day they were due for.
"Even though we were going off shift, we saw what was happening and needed to help out," said Groneman.
Red Flag conditions with high winds and low humidity, plus abundant dry fuels, are combining for fire behavior described as unprecedented.
"Huge smoke plumes are creating down drafts, creating more wind on the ground," said Marin County Deputy Fire Chief Chris Martinelli.
"Our folks are exhausted, they've been on a 36 hour shift," said Martinelli.
"And they're frustrated because as firefighters we're used to making a difference and when we're unsuccessful, that's challenging."
Wednesday night, evacuation orders were growing wider, with deputies going door to door alerting residents.
"Our house is packed up and we're ready to go but we're still staying," said John Seipert of Hamilton Branch.
Siepert grew up in Fremont but has deep roots at Lake Almanor and moved there full-time five years ago.
He is monitoring escape routes to decide when he should flee.
If possible, he wants to stay and protect his property.
"This is where my family is from, where they came when they arrived in America, this is home and where I want to be," declared Siepert emotionally.
"I tell my mother when my shoes are on fire, that's when I'll leave."
Evacuation Orders include the west shore of Lake Almanor from the Canyon Dam, northwest to Hwy 36 at Hwy 89. This includes the communities of Prattville, Big Meadows, and Lake Almanor West along with the Rocky Point Campground and the Canyon Dam Boat Launch.
High Lakes (PLUMAS COUNTY) Recreational area of Plumas County east of the Butte/Plumas County line. Plumas/Butte County line east of Twain includes both sides of Hwy 70 in the areas of Rock Creek, Storrie,Tobin, Belden, Caribou Rich Bar, and Twain.
Meadow Valley and Bucks Lake, Bucks Lake Rd. at Riverdance, and everything west to the Butte/Plumas County Line. This includes Snake Lake, Meadow Valley, Tollgate, Bucks Lake, Bucks Lake Highlands, and all surrounding areas.
Caribou Rd. north to Humbug Rd. and Humboldt Rd. intersection. This includes Belden Reservoir and Butt Valley Reservoir, Prattville, Butt Reservoir Road, and everything west to the Butte/Plumas County line, and the community of Seneca south to Hwy 70.
P Zone 1: Evacuation Order for High Lakes area, Storrie, Tobin, and Rock Creek. Evacuation Order for Belden, Rich Bar, Virgilia, Seneca, and Twain communities along the SR70 corridor. Evacuation Order to begin at SR70 at Pulga Rd along the north edge of the SR70 corridor to Rich Bar Rd., from SR70 at Rich Bar Rd., to the north along the Pacific Crest Trail to the Plumas Co./Butte Co. line, from the Plumas Co./Butte Co. line west along the county line to the intersection of SR70 and Pulga Rd.
P Zone 2: Evacuation Order for Meadow Valley and Bucks Lake communities.
Evacuation to include the south edge of the SR70 corridor, from Belden east to Twain, south from Twain to Snake Lake Rd. at Bucks Lake Rd., to include the communities of Spanish Ranch and Meadow Valley, from south, on Bucks Lake Rd. at Snake Lake Rd. to the intersection of Bucks Lake Rd. and Big Creek (south), from the the intersection of Bucks Lake Rd. and Big Creek Rd. (south) along Bucks Lake Rd. to the Plumas/Butte Co. line, from Bucks Lake Rd. at the Plumas/Butte Co line to the north, along the Plumas/Butte Co. line, where it intersects with SR70 at Pulga Rd.
P Zone 3: Evacuation Order for the Caribou area. Evacuation to include SR70 at Virgilia to the north along the east shore of Butt Lake, to the intersection of Humbug Rd and Humboldt Rd, to the east along Humbug Rd. to the Butte Co. Line, to the south along the Butte Co. Line to Chips Creek, east along Chips Creek to SR70, east along the north edge of the SR70 corridor to Virgilia
P Zone 4A: Evacuation Order for the Paxton, Seneca, Long Valley, and East Butt Lake area. Evacuation Warning to include the Paxton area at SR70, north to the Long Valley, west to the south side of Butt Lake, from the south side of Butt Lake to SR70 at Virgilia, east along the north edge of the SR70 corridor to Paxton.
P Zone 4B: Evacuation Order in the Long Valley and Seneca communities. Starting from the Long Valley area north along Wolf Creek Rd, to the intersection of Wolf Creek Rd and South Almanor, from the intersection of South Almanor and Wolf Creek Rd west along South Almanor, continuing west along Fox Farm Rd to the intersection of Humbug-Humboldt Crossing Rd, from the intersection of Fox Farm Rd and Humbug-Humboldt Rd, to south along Prattville Butt Valley Reservoir Rd to the south shore of Butt Valley Reservoir, from the south shore of Butt Valley Reservoir east to Long Valley.
P Zone 5: Evacuation Order for the community of Prattville, which includes north of SR89, south of Lake Almanor, west from Canyon Dam and east from Humboldt Rd.
P Zone 5A: Evacuation Order for the community of Canyon Dam. Starting at the intersection of SR89 and SR147 east to the intersection of SR89 at Old Haun Rd., from the intersection of SR89 and Old Haun Rd. north to the intersection of Old Haun Rd. and SR147, from the intersection of SR147 and Old Haun Rd. to the intersection of SR89 and SR147.
P Zone 5B: Evacuation Order for the Almanor West community. PLU-5B will begin at the intersection of Humbug Humboldt Cross Rd. at SR89, north along SR89 to south along the west shore of Lake Almanor to Osprey Rd., west along Osprey Rd. and continuing west along Humbug Humboldt Cross Rd. to the intersection with SR89
P Zone 6: Evacuation Order Humbug Rd. from the intersection of the Humbug-Humboldt Rd. west to the Butte County line and everything south of the Humbug Rd. to Humboldt Rd.
P Zone 6A: Evacuation Order beginning from the intersection of Humbug-Humboldt Crossing Rd and Fox Farm Rd, west along Fox Farm Rd to the intersection with SR36, south from the intersection of SR36 and Fox Farm Rd, south to the Butte County line, south along Butte County line to Humboldt Rd., east along Humboldt Rd to the intersection with Humbug Humboldt Crossing Rd, continuing west to the Butte County Line, south along the Butte County Line to Humbug Rd, east along Humbug Rd to the intersection of Humboldt Rd.
P Zone 6B: Evacuation Order will begin at the intersection of Humbug Humboldt Cross Rd. at SR89, south along Humbug Humboldt Rd. to the intersection with Humboldt Rd., west to the Round Valley Creek and Deer Creek intersect, north along the Tehama County Line to the intersection SR36, east along SR36 to the intersection of SR89, south along SR89 to the intersection with Humbug Humboldt Cross Rd.
P Zone 7: Evacuation Order for the community of Stover. This will include the intersection of SR89 at SR36, west SR36 to the Pacific Coast Trail, north to Willow Springs Camp Ground, northeast to the intersection of Old Red Bluff Highway and Warner Valley Rd., south to the intersection of SR89 and SR36.
P Zone 8: Evacuation Order for the community of Chester. This includes the intersection of Old Red Bluff Highway and Warner Valley Rd., east to Last Chance Camp Ground, south to SR36 on the causeway, southwest to the intersection of SR89 and SR36, north to the intersection of Old Red Bluff Highway and Warner Valley Rd.
P Zone 9: Evacuation Order for the communities of Peninsula and Hamilton Branch. The warning will include SR36 on the causeway, east to the Lassen County Line, south on SR147 to County Road A13, south to Peninsula Point, north to the SR36 causeway.
P Zone 10: Evacuation Order for the community of East Shore. The Order will include the intersection of SR147 and County Rd. A13, east to Little Dyer Mountain, southeast to Dyer Mountain, south to SR89, west to SR147, north to County Rd. A13.
P Zone 11: Evacuation Order for the community of Road Valley Reservoir and Long Valley will include State Route 89 near the Clear Creek to the State Route 70, south to State Route 70 at the Feather River, east along State Route 70 to the intersection of State Route 89, north on State Route 89 to Dixie Creek due north to Seltzer Road.
P Zone 11A: Evacuation Order for the community of Round Valley Reservoir and Long Valley. This includes SR89 near Round Valley Reservoir and west along Long Valley Rd., to Dixie Creek and north to SR89.
P Zone 12: Evacuation Order for the community of Butterfly Valley. The Order will include Feather River Hot Springs east on SR70 to Barlow
Road, southwest to Oroville-Quincey Highway, west to Snake Lake Road, north to Feather River Hot Springs.
P Zone 12A: Evacuation Order for the community of Butterfly Valley. The Evacuation order is to begin at Blackhawk Rd at SR70, to west on Snake Lake Rd to the intersection with Powerline Easement, continuing west from the intersection of Snake Lake Rd and Powerline Easement to the Hambly Ravine, from the Hambly Ravine north to SR70, continuining east along the SR70 corridor to the intersection with SR89 (Greenville Wye), from the intersetction with SR70 and SR89 (Greenville Wye), continuing east along the SR70 corridor to the intersection with Blackhawk Rd.
P Zone 13: Evacuation Order for the community of the northeast side of Indian Valley. The Order will include Dyer Mountain, southeast to Keddie Ridge, southeast to Diamond Mountain Road, west to Stampfli Lane, north to Wolf Creek, northwest to the intersection of N Valley Road and Pecks Valley Road, north to the intersection of Williams Valley Road and Lower Williams Valley Road, northwest to SR89 at Second Water Tower Creek, north to Dyer Mountain.
P Zone 14: Evacuation Order for the community of Greenville and Crescent Mills. The order will include SR89 at Dixie Creek, northeast to Stampfli Lane,
north to Wolf Creek, northwest to SR89, north on SR89 to Hauns Creek.
P Zone 15: Evacuation Order for the community of Taylorsville. The warning will include SR89 at Moccasin, northeast to Stampfli Lane at Indian Creek, east to Diamond Mountain Road, south to Genesee Road at N Valley Road, west to SR89 at Indian Falls, northeast to Moccasin.
P Zone 16: Evacuation Order for the community of Mount Hough. The warning will include SR89 at Indian Falls, east to Genesee Road at N Valley Road, south to the intersection of Forest Service Road 25N14 and Forest Service Road 24N85, west to SR70 at Barlow Road, north to SR89 at Indian Falls.
P Zone 17B: Evacuation Order the areas north of Chandler Road. Chandler Road at Oakland Camp Road east to State Route 70, north from the intersection of State Route 70 to the south border of Canyon Railroad Subdivision. The northern borders of Zones 17 and 17A are moved to the south edge of Chandler Road and remain in Evacuation Warning status.
P Zone 18: Evacuation Order for the Peter’s Creek Area. The Order begins at Taylorsville Rodeo Grounds north to Keddie Peak, continuing north along Cook’s creek to Springs Creek, east to Enlge Mine, south from Engle Mine to Peter’s Creek, continuing south along Peter’s Creek to Taylor Diggings, west from Taylor Diggings to Talyorsville Rodeo grounds.
P Zone 38: Evacuation Order for the area of Echo Lake. This includes the
area north of Hwy 36, north to the county line, and east of Chester, east to
the county line.
P Zone 15A: Evacuation Warning for the community of Taylorsville. This will include SR89 at Moccasin, northeast to Stamfli Lane at Indian Creek, east to Diamond Mountain Rd., south to fire perimeter south of Arlington Rd. continuing to Moccasin.
P Zone 17C: Evacuation Warning for the areas from the intersection of Chandler Rd. (east) and SR70 east to Oakland Camp Rd. and south of Mt. Hough Rd.
P Zone 18A: Evacuation Warning for the Peter’s Creek area. This begins at Taylorsville Rodeo Grounds north to Diamond Mountain Rd. Follows Diamond Mountain Rd. to Engle Mine, and south from Engle Mine to Peter’s Creek, continuing south along Peter’s Creek to Taylor Diggings, west from Taylor Diggins to Taylorsville Rodeo Grounds.
P Zone 21: Evacuation Warning for the area of Little Grizzly Creek. The Order will begin at intersection 25N14 and 24N85, east to the intersection of 113 and 24N60, north to the east end of 25N42C, west to just south of Gaging Station, south to 25N14 and 24N85.
P Zone 28: Evacuation Warning for the Genesee Valley. This includes east of Taylorsville along Genesee Rd corridor continuing east along Genesee Indian Creek and ending at 27N09.
P Zone 39: Evacuation Order for the Swain area.
P Zone 40: Evacuation Order for the area of Warner Valley.
P Zone 41: Evacuation Order for the area Sifford
Public traveling in or near evacuated areas should follow egress route directions identified in the evacuation notifications. Directions provided
by mobile devices and GPS units could lead drivers into hazardous areas
Evacuation Orders: For the communities of Butte Meadows, Jonesville, and Lake Philbrook areas remain in place.