Dixie Fire: Plumas County Sheriff says 8 individuals unaccounted for

TOPSHOT - A firefighter sprays water on a propane tank as a home burns due to the Dixie fire in the Indian Falls neighborhood of unincorporated Plumas County, California on July 24, 2021. - The Dixie fire, which started only a few miles from the orig

Plumas County Sheriff's Office on Friday night announced eight individuals are unaccounted for in the area affected by the raging Dixie Fire. 

Sheriff's officials posted to social media seeking help from media outlets and the public in locating those missing individuals. They added that investigators have been able to successfully locate 16 additional individuals on Friday. 

"We request if you know where any of these people are to contact them and have them call the Sheriff’s Office at 530-283-6300 to let us know they are safe, so we can report back to the person(s) looking for them," their Facebook post read.

The unaccounted individuals are as follows: 

1. Danny Sczenski of Greenville
2. Jesus AND Ella Gursasola of Greenville
3. Matthew Henley of Greenville
4. Glen Gallagher of Greenville
5. Sally AND Harold Brown of Crescent Mills
6. Donna Shelton of Chester

The Dixie Fire wiped out the town of Greenville, a historic Gold Rush town of about 800 this week. In Friday night's update from Cal Fire, containment had dropped to 21% after holding steady at 35% for some time. Officials said the percentage change was due to better mapping. 

"Basically my whole district is on fire," Kevin Goss, Plumas County supervisor for District 2, which includes Greenville and most of the fire zone, said.

Goss visited downtown Greenville Friday, and saw his family's corner pharmacy, passed down by his father who opened it in 1988, was destroyed by the Dixie Fire. 

"We got a couple of things left that can see that we can maybe salvage, but it's just gone," Goss said, adding that most of downtown Greenville is severely damaged. "It's very emotional, very upsetting."

The Dixie Fire, northeast of Chico, has been burning for more than three weeks and is at more than 434,000 acres. 184 structures have burned. There are no firefighter deaths associated with the Dixie Fire.

Brandon Clement, the owner of WX Chasing, chases extreme weather events for a living. He described what it was like being inside the Dixie Fire's path on Wednesday, feeling winds nearing 60 miles per hour.

"It was one of the more intense burns I've ever seen. There were structures fully engulfed just about everywhere I looked. The wind was screaming it was blowing hard enough to where it was actually ripping sheet metal off of roofs that were already on fire," Clement said.

He said many of the people who own vacation homes along Lake Almanor also lost homes when the Camp Fire tore through the city of Paradise in 2018.

"So they're being traumatized, impacted all over again," Clement said.

Twenty minutes southeast of Lake Almanor, Gigi's Marketplace in Crescent Mills, known for its smoked meats, has become a refuge for hungry, exhausted fire crews, offering them discounted meals and free coffee. 

"They've been 24 hours on, 24 hours off. Some people have been working straight 2 weeks or more, plus, they're just looking for just some home town good love," Gigi Gamble-Riehl, the eatery's owner, who also works as the secretary for the city's fire department, said. Her husband is the fire chief for Crescent Mills.

Canyondam, an area south of Lake Almanor with a population of only 31, was the fire's most recent target. On Friday, the fire ripped through drought and insect-stricken trees.