Dixie Fire

A white fire truck and structure protection equipment in front of two single-story, wooden  buildings amid conifer trees.
Summit Lake Ranger Station and all structures in the Summit Lake Campground, remain intact in part due to successful interagency firefighting leveraging years of work to bolster the area’s wildfire resilience.

NPS

 

Learn and Explore

Overview

The Dixie Fire reached 100% containment on October 26, 2021 with a total size of 963,309 acres including 73,240 acres within the park. View Questions & Answers about the Dixie Fire within the park.

The Dixie Fire started on July 13, 2021 in Feather River Canyon southeast of Lassen Volcanic National Park. The Dixie Fire was managed in two cooperative zones: West and East. Lassen Volcanic National Park is included in the West Zone. Lassen Volcanic National Park, in unified command with USFS and CAL FIRE, implemented a full suppression strategy.
 

 
An illustration of a snow-covered volcano dome with green trees and lake at its base. A black foreground includes the shape of burned and unburned trees and contains the words "Lassen Resilience. Cascade Range. Lassen Volcanic National Park. Northern Ca."
Lassen Resilience screen print by Chico artist Jake Early.

Jake Early

Lassen Resilience Campaign

Lassen Association and Lassen Park Foundation, in partnership with Lassen Volcanic National Park, have created the Lassen Resilience campaign to showcase the park’s resilience and bolster recovery efforts following the 2021 Dixie Fire.

 

General Dixie Fire Information

Dixie Fire operations, weather, fire behavior and evacuations remain available on the Inciweb webpage. View Questions & Answers about the Dixie Fire for additional information about effects within the park.

 
A map of a fire perimeter shown in red covering approximately half of a rectangular park area.
The 2021 Dixie Fire affected 73,240 acres or 69% of Lassen Volcanic National Park.

Dixie Fire Impacts within the Park

Structures and Facilities

High-severity fire activity in the southeast portion of the park resulted in the loss or damage of 12 park structures. While significant, structure loss within the park was limited in part due to previous fire management efforts including fuel reduction and prescribed burn projects. This includes:

  • 2 bungalow units, the annex and a water plant at Drakesbad Guest Ranch in Warner Valley were destroyed.
  • In the Juniper Lake Area, 7 of 8 cabins on the north shore of Juniper Lake, including 1 park-owned cabin were destroyed.
  • The wooden portions of the historic Mt. Harkness Fire Lookout in the Juniper Lake Area were destroyed and the stone base was damaged.
  • Kings Creek Falls overlook were damaged.
  • Mill Creek Falls bridges were destroyed.
 

Dixie Fire Timeline

Dixie Fire (DF) | Lassen Volcanic National Park (LVNP)

Date

Event

7/13

DF started; cause under investigation

7/16

Lassen National Forest joins Cal Fire in Unified Command

7/23

DF becomes largest California wildfire in 2021.

7/24

Warner Valley and Juniper Lake areas closed and entire park closed to backcountry camping due to DF.

8/5

DF enters the southeast corner of LVNP near the Juniper Lake Area.
LVNP closes due to DF.
LVNP joins USFS and CAL FIRE in Unified Command.

8/6

DF becomes the largest single (non-complex) wildfire in California history.

8/16

Burn out operation in the Southwest Area to reduce south and eastward movement of the lightning-ignited fire on Morgan Summit.

8/17

The town of Mineral, including park headquarters, under evacuation order; park headquarters temporary relocated to Redding.

8/18

Some structure loss confirmed at Drakesbad Guest Ranch including 2 of 4 duplexes and outbuilding near the dining hall.

8/22

Loss of 7 of 8 Juniper Lake cabins confirmed, including 1 NPS-owned cabin.

8/22

Burn out operation in the Butte Lake and Badger Flat/Lost Creek areas to reduce north and eastward movement.

8/23

Evacuation warning for Mineral reduced to warning. Park staff begin restoration of some park operations in Mineral.

10/4

Portions of the park unaffected by the Dixie Fire re-open. This includes two portions of the highway: 8 miles from the Southwest Entrance to Lassen Peak parking area and 1 mile from the Northwest Entrance to Loomis Plaza and 8 trails.

10/26

Dixie Fire reaches 100% containment at 963,309 acres including 73,240 acres within Lassen Volcanic National Park.

 

Full Suppression Strategy

Lassen Volcanic National Park, in unified command with USFS and CAL FIRE, is implementing a full suppression strategy. The park superintendent has authorized all firefighting tactical requests that have been made by the Incident Management Team. This has led to the use of numerous tools from the firefighting toolbox, including:

  • Retardant drops when necessary;

  • Air operations: to date, only helicopter bucket work has been possible due to smoke and wind, but fixed-wing aircraft, including “Super Scoopers” are also approved and assigned to fire to be used as conditions allow;

  • Bulldozers: dozer lines in the Lost Creek Campground area connect to dozer lines on USDA Forest Service lands, as well as at Butte Lake and at Juniper Lake;

  • Handline: firefighters have built handline connecting to the Park and Forest dozer lines, creating a buffer;

  • Heavy equipment is being used to improve existing roads and trails for firefighting;

  • Mastication along the portion of the park highway;

  • Chainsaw use in the Lassen Volcanic Wilderness;

  • Burnout operations to slow the spread of the fire; and

  • Fighting the fire with direct control lines on the fire's edge.

In addition to crews being brought in from other locations, park firefighters are also assigned to the incident, working on handcrews, a Branch Section Chief, Resource Advisors, and numerous other roles within the incident.

 
Two people in yellow shirts, green pants, and hard hats record data of a destroyed structure backed by conifer trees burned by wildfire.
Cultural resource specialists on a Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) Team survey the destroyed annex building at Drakesbad Guest Ranch in the Warner Valley Area.

NPS

Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER)

A Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) Team initiated an assessment of the Dixie Fire in Lassen Volcanic National Park on September 9. The interagency team includes specialists who are completing a rapid assessment of natural and cultural resources affected by the Dixie Fire. This includes recreation facilities, infrastructure, cultural resources, watershed and hydrology, fish and wildlife habitat, rare plants, and invasive species.

Once assessment is complete, the BAER Team will identify imminent post-wildfire threats to human life and safety, property, and critical park resources and recommend actions to implement emergency stabilization measures. This park-specific BAER Team is working in tandem with the USFS BAER Team, which began its assessment of the Dixie Fire in Plumas and Lassen National Forests on August 19.

BAER is one part of a of post-fire response that includes fire suppression damage repair, post-fire emergency stabilization and rehabilitation (BAER), and long-term fire restoration.

Soil Burn Severity

Soil burn severity for a portion of the park area affected by the Dixie Fire is available from the US Forest Service (USFS) Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) program. The USFS BAER Phase 2 map indicates mostly low to moderate soil burn severity across the areas analyzed, including within the park.

A moderate soil burn severity indicates that fallen needles, leaves, and small plants burned at the soil surface. In these areas, the remaining soil may not absorb water which can result in increased runoff, soil erosion, and potential debris flows.

View the entire Dixie Post-Fire BAER article and map at https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/article/7811/66391/. Soil burn severity for the entire park will be provided by the park BAER Team in the near future.

 
A 3D map of the park with colors from green to red indicating fire progression through the park from the southeast to the northeast.
Progression map of the Dixie Fire within Lassen Volcanic National Park as of 8/24/2021.
 
 

Dixie Fire News Releases

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    Last updated: November 22, 2021

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