Dixie Fire: In Indian Valley, Where a Town Burned, Others Fight the Flames

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U.S.|In the vale wherever 1 municipality burned, occurrence crews and volunteers are inactive battling the flames.


A wildland occurrence  unit  hosed down   a operation   to support   it arsenic  the Dixie Fire exploded adjacent   Taylorsville, Calif., connected  Monday.
Credit...Christian Monterrosa for The New York Times
  • Aug. 10, 2021, 5:17 p.m. ET

The Dixie Fire burned crossed a increasing swath of Indian Valley successful the Sierra Nevada connected Monday nighttime into Tuesday, threatening different communities aft the Northern California municipality of Greenville was overrun by flames precocious past week.

Fire crews, unpaid firefighters and residents fought arsenic the blaze — the second-largest successful California past — spewed retired an tremendous plume of fume and sparked spot fires arsenic it reached the vale floor. The firefighting effort became much hard erstwhile the plume of smoke, known arsenic a pyrocumulus cloud, collapsed, sending retired precocious gusts of upwind successful each directions.

“It made what was a small, creeping occurrence into a monster, and they conscionable had to autumn back,” said Ryan Schramel, a section teacher and erstwhile Marine who was among residents watching the occurrence from afar.

By Tuesday morning, respective houses were reduced to rubble, lone their chromatic chimneys near standing.

A pristine upland vale astir 150 miles from Sacramento, Indian Valley is location to a clump of tiny Gold Rush towns surrounded by pastureland that person seen their populations diminution implicit the past decades arsenic section lumber mills closed down. Many of the families who inactive unrecorded determination spell backmost generations.

Though mandatory evacuation orders were successful spot for overmuch of the area, immoderate residents chose to remain, oregon were incapable to travel, including for wellness reasons. Others beryllium connected cattle and sheep ranching and person stayed to safeguard their animals and effort to combat disconnected the fires connected the elephantine fire’s eastbound side.

Dozens of members of the National Guard person appeared successful Indian Valley successful caller days, wherever they person acceptable up blockades.

The municipality of Taylorsville lies crossed the vale from North Arm, wherever homes were destroyed Monday night. “Taylorsville is the past holdout and volition go the halfway of the assemblage if thing survives,” said a resident, Kjessie Essue, 38.

She evacuated past week to the adjacent municipality of Quincy with her husband, parents and 3 children. They packed their goats, but near their chickens and ducks behind. “We conscionable made definite everyone had a peculiar stuffy, their clothes, immoderate documents,” she said. “And immoderate camping stuff. Because who knows wherever we volition land.”

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