Canyondam becomes latest California town to burn in Dixie Fire

The incredibly stubborn Dixie Fire means to stay alive and it has plenty of fuel to burn though including vast number of dead and dying trees from drought, bark beetles and Sudden Oak Death.

The tiny hamlet of Canyondam, right next to the dam that forms Lake Almanor, is no more; after the Dixie Fire consumed Greenville the day before. As of the 2010 Census, the population was 31, down from 37 in 2000.

The biggest concern now is to extinguish any and all embers in the burned areas so winds cannot send them flying. 

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"Typically, we go two or three hundred feet in for doing mop up. On this fire they're going 500 and 700 feet, in some places as much as 2 miles, to protect the unburned stuff from embers on the inside being blown outside and starting new fires," said Dixie Fire Public Affairs Officer Captain Mitch Matlow. 

While the fire is not being wind whipped, which makes to do crazy things fast, the towering smoke hampers aerial drops of water and red fire retardant. 

"That stable air makes it so it's difficult to see the fire. It's difficult for aircraft to do their jobs," said Matlow. 

SEE ALSO: 'We lost Greenville': Dixie Fire destroys Sierra Nevada town

But newly available infrared sensors can see right through smoke and alert ground crews about unseen or unknown ember fed flare ups. 

"A spot fire occurred a significant distance away from the fire. It grew to 20 acres. It would not have been know that fire was there at all if it hadn't been for infrared imaging," said Matlow.

Cal Fire has no choice but to bring in many more resources. 

"We're not gonna put our firefighters in danger, so, you know, if there's an area where they're working and all of a sudden conditions become too bad, we are gonna pull them out and bring them to a place where they're going to be safe," said the Captain. 

The new resources are being added to the 5,222 firefighters, 88 hand crews, 418 fire engines, 121 water tenders, 24 helicopters and 110 dozers already in the incredibly dangerous battle; Abattle that could consumer many more hamlets and towns before it is defeated.