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California Wildfires: Dixie Fire Explodes to 1,200 Acres Near 2018 Camp Fire Destruction

PLUMAS COUNTY (CBS SF) -- A wildfire that broke out in Plumas County Tuesday exploded in size overnight, growing to 1,200 acres and burning not far from the same area devastated by the Camp Fire in 2018.

Dubbed the Dixie Fire, Cal Fire's Butte County office said the wildfire consuming vegetation in Plumas County's Lassen National Forest was still burning Wednesday morning.

The fire started Tuesday evening shortly after 5 p.m. and quickly grew to 10-15 acres within a few hours despite Cal Fire calling in air support. Access for ground crews was challenging in the remote area, allowing the fire to grow exponentially overnight to its current size of approximately 1,200 acres. It is currently at zero containment.

The Dixie Fire is burning about 10 miles northeast of Paradise, the small town largely destroyed by a 2018 wildfire that killed 85 people. Luckily the new blaze has been burning northward away from populated areas, according to fire officials.

Paradise officials were monitoring the fire carefully and said there is no evacuation order or warning for the town so far. Contingency lines built last year during the North Complex Fire are being utilized to help keep the fire away from populated areas, fire officials said.

But the Butte County Sheriff did issue evacuation warnings for the areas of Pulga and Concow Wednesday morning as a precaution.

The air support provided by NorCal Air Operations was able to make more frequent drops of fire retardant due to the proximity to the Chico air base, officials said.

Meanwhile, a fire in the Sierra south of Yosemite National Park remained at just under 15 square miles (39 square kilometers) but containment increased to 21%.

The River Fire is spread across two counties amid the park's peak tourist season.

KPIX learned Wednesday that there are several fires burning within Yosemite National Park, but officials say those are very small and they're not affecting visitor areas or park services.

In northeastern California, crews reported progress on the state's largest fire so far this year. The Beckwourth Complex, a combined pair of lighting-ignited blazes, was 71% contained after blackening almost 149 square miles (386 square kilometers) near the Nevada state line.

Damage was still being tallied in the small rural community of Doyle, California, where flames swept in during the weekend and destroyed 33 homes, including Beverly Houdyshell's. The 79-year-old said Tuesday that she's too old and too poor to rebuild and isn't sure what her future holds.

"What chance do I have to build another house, to have another home?" Houdyshell said. "No chance at all."

"I can't just buy another house, boom like that. I had insurance. I haven't heard from them yet. I called them but I haven't heard nothing," she added.

© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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