The McGuire Fire near Dixie burned actively on Wednesday, as firefighters continued to fortify their position along the forest road outside of town.
Fire officials say the blaze grew to about 17,000 acres but was most active on its southern flank and not on the eastern flank, the closest one to Dixie. Crews are working to bolster a fire line along the 1188 Road about a mile west of town and also to fortify structure protection at Dixie, Comstock, Orogrande and Red River.
Meanwhile, crews on the Powell SBW Complex worked on a burnout operation along Beaver Ridge east and a little bit north of Powell. They first built a contingency line before lighting the backburn designed to keep the fire out of private land to the north.
The complex, which includes the Cedar, Fern and Freeze-Out Queen fires, has burned about 34,000 acres. Because of its size, a specialized team was assigned to manage the fire last week. However, it remains in point protection status, where firefighters identify areas they want to protect but otherwise monitor the fire and allow it to burn.
Smoke from the fires is settling along Highway 12 at times and could pose a hazard to motorists.