By Ian Firstenberg
(PULGA, Calif.) Fire officials and crews working on the Dixie Fire remain optimistic about the progress made despite the fact that the Northern California fire spread several thousand more acres on Wednesday.
By Wednesday night, the Dixie Fire had grown to 91,628 acres with 15 percent contained. The fire grew by nearly 21,000 acres over the first two days of this week.
A Wednesday night briefing, led by Cal Fire operations section chief Tony Brownell, appeared to show a large growth on the north and east sides of the fire. Cal Fire noted that the 10-15 mph winds in the area are likely to keep the fire active through the night.
The evacuation order was extended to Lake Almanor because of the rapid growth over night Wednesday.
Nearly 40 fire engines were positioned in areas around Bucks Lake in an attempt to stop the spread on the south east end. Similarly on the south east end, a spot fire developed near Eagle Rock, which Brownell noted was a top priority.
Roughly 1,500 structures are currently threatened and evacuation orders were expanded to Plumas County. Wednesday morning, a mandatory evacuation order was issued for west shore residents of Lake Almanor.
The evacuation area included Canyon Dam and other portions on the east side of the lake. The heavily populated east side of the lake, is now also under an evacuation order. Chester, Hamilton Branch and the Lake Almanor peninsula were also under the new evacuation order.
Evacuation warnings were also issued Wednesday night for Butterfly Valley, Round Valley Reservoir and Long Valley due to the spot fire noted above and an evacuation center was set up at Chester Memorial Hospital, according to The East Bay Times.
A shelter has also opened at the Springs of Hope Church in Quincy.
Butte County Sheriff's Office Lt. Steve Collins said Wednesday night that the evacuation orders for Jonesville, Phil Brook and the area around High Lakes are still in place and urged residents to find nearby shelter.
The East Bay Times published a list of the additional evacuation warnings in the Butte County area.
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