- Cal Fire: See incident reports from Cal Fire's website.

- Maps: View maps from the U.S. Forest Service.

- Road closures: Get updates from Caltrans District 2's Twitter feed.

- Evacuations: Find the latest information from Cal Fire.

- Dixie Fire information line: (530) 538-7826.

:::

California's Dixie Fire burning 250 miles northeast of San Francisco has torn through mountain communities in recent days, including Greenville and Canyondam. But amid an explosion in fire activity Wednesday through Friday, firefighters were able to save Chester.

"The town of Chester is doing OK right now," said Cal Fire spokesperson Edwin Zuniga. "The fire has surrounded it but we have crews on the line around the town.?

Zuniga explained that the fire burned to the edge of the town's perimeter. "We let the fire burn the vegetation around the town," he said. "It gives it a buffer. The firefighters on the ground were able to protect the main hub. Prior to the fire getting to Chester we brought in truck engines."

Chester is a small mountain town of about 2,100 that's mostly known as a home base for exploring Lake Almanor and Lassen Volcanic National Park.?

Photo journalists on the ground covering the fire took images of homes and buildings in the community that are still standing and posted them on Twitter.

Craig Philpott shared photos of the Bidwell House built in 1904.

Philpott also posted a photo of Olsen Barn. "Good morning Chester CA history lives on and the Olsen Barn still stands. #DixieFire," he wrote.?

In some photos, homes are splattered in red fire retardant.?

Sparked near Cresta Dam in the Feather River Canyon on July 14, the Dixie Fire has destroyed at least 184 houses and other buildings, according to Cal Fire, and torched a bone-dry landscape and triggered thousands of evacuations in a region still recovering from the 2018 Camp Fire, California's deadliest blaze. More than 5,000 personnel are fighting the blaze. PG&E has said its equipment may have started it.?

The burn area grew to 446,723 acres Friday, making it the third largest fire in California history, Cal Fire said. Containment stands at 21% a drop from where it was on Thursday at 35%.?

"The containment has gone down after reassessing the size of the fire," Zuniga said. "The 35% was prior to the fire getting to the size it is now."

Containment is expected to increase in coming days with favorable weather conditions, mainly due to the heavy smoke overhead.?

"The smoke in the area is blanketing the fire perimeter, and it’s shielding us from the direct sunlight and heat," Zuniga explained. "Cooler temperatures means less extreme fire activity. It allows our firefighters to be more direct in putting out the fire."

The Dixie Fire exploded Wednesday afternoon amid extreme weather conditions with winds up to 40 mph and humidity levels as low as 6%.?

Flames?engulfed the small mountain town of Greenville Wednesday night, leveling much of the historic Main Street?and scorching surrounding homes.?

On Thursday the fire activity was severe again and flames tore through Canyondam, a hamlet with a population of about three dozen people located near the dam that forms Lake Almanor. It's 13 miles north of Greenville.

"We're seeing truly frightening fire behavior and I don't know how to overstate that," Chris Carlton, the supervisor for Plumas National Forest said in a recent briefing. "We have a lot of veteran firefighters who have observed for 20 years and have never seen conditions like this especially day after day. We really are in uncharted territory."

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