Caldor Fire grows to more than 53k acres in El Dorado County
Special to the Sierra Sun
Update: 9 a.m. — A press release from Cal Fire on Wednesday said the Caldor Fire has grown to 53,772 acres and remains uncontained.
The release also said damage assessment is underway.
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — The Caldor Fire exploded in size Tuesday due to extremely dry fuels and gusty southern winds.
The uncontained blaze has caused two injuries to civilians, destroyed numerous structures, many have been forced from their homes and Gov. Gavin Newsom proclaimed a state of emergency for El Dorado County.
Cal Fire officials on Tuesday evening held a public meeting in Placerville and Chief Mike Blankenheim said fire is estimated to have burned about 30,000 acres between Grizzly Flat and Pollock Pines and has crossed east of Sly Park Road. An early morning update from the forest service says the blaze at about 23,000 acres.
The fire started Saturday night in the Middle Fork of the Cosumnes River, an area hard to access, said Blankenheim. Wind conditions Monday afternoon created favorable burning conditions for the fire to spread at a rapid pace, he added.
The Eldorado National Forest has been closed due to extreme fire behavior and firefighter safety, said Supervisor Jeff Marsolais.
“The forest-wide closure will be in effect through Sept. 30, to facilitate unimpeded ingress and egress for evacuations, emergency response, and property access,” Marsolais said. “The closure will also limit the public’s exposure to fire danger and impaired visibility due to smoke. Because the fire is not controlled and is actively burning, there is a high risk of flare ups or uncontrolled runs within the forest.”
The closure includes all lands, roads and trails within the forest.
A violation of the order is punishable by a fine of not more than $5,000 for an individual or $10,000 for an organization, or imprisonment for not more than six months, or both.
A red flag warning is still in effect for the fire area through 8 p.m. Wednesday with winds switching to the northeast.
Resources that are available from outside of California are coming in to help with California’s blazes, said Cal Fire Chief Dusty Martin.
Multiple air tankers and helicopters were assigned to the Caldor Fire Monday and Tuesday, but like ground firefighters, resources must be shared due to other currently active blazes, said Martin. Resources must also be used to fight the Dixie Fire to the north, which has burned more than a half million acres.
James Thornock with the U.S. Forest Service said southwest wind patterns will continue to influence the fire in a northeastern direction.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.
Structure assessment teams will be evaluating these areas as soon as it is safe for them to do so.
There are about 6,000 structures threatened and officials said they expect full containment by Aug. 31.
Register for Code Red through local authority’s websites:
El Dorado County Code Red: https://ready.edso.org/
Amador County Code Red: https://www.amadorsheriff.org/administration- division/codered
If traveling to or from Lake Tahoe, be sure to check road conditions at https://roads.dot.ca.gov.
Residents can call a public information line at 530-303-2455 for updates on the fire or go online to fire.ca.gov.
Grizzly Flat: The areas on Grizzly Flats Road east of Kendra Way into Grizzly Flats Proper. The areas of Diamond Railroad Grade, Old School House, Sweeney Road, Caldor Road, and Steely Ridge.
Grizzly Flats Road east of four corners in Somerset into Grizzly Flats Proper. The areas of Myers Lane, Varmet Ridge Road, Rodwell Canyon Road, Snowbird Lane, and Mehwald Lane.
East of Sly Park Road between Highway 50 and Mormon Emigrant Trail to Ice House Road. This includes the communities of Pacific House and Fresh Pond.
North of Highway 50, east of Forebay Road to Ice House Road.
Intersection of Perry Creek and Hawk Haven , the East side of Fairplay Road
from Perry Creek South to Cedarville Road. This includes Slug Gulch, Omo
Ranch, and all roads off of Slug Gulch and Omo Ranch.
All roads off of Omo Ranch from Cedarville Road to Hwy 88.
The area between Highway 88 and Mormon Emigrant Trail
South of Highway 50 from Snows Road to Ice House Road.
Between Highway 50 and Slab Creek from Snows Road to Ice House Road.
North of Slab Creek to Wentworth Springs Road between Sand Mountain and Loon Lake.
Mosquito Road from the bridge North to include the Community of Swansboro.
North of Highway 50 to Slab Creek between Smith Flat and Snows Road.
South of Highway 50 to Pleasant Valley between Smith Flat and Snows Road,
and North of Pleasant Valley between Holm and Newtown.
South of Pleasant Valley between Bucks Bar Road and Newtown Road, East of Bucks Bar Road to Mt Aukum Road.
Southwest of Bucks Bar Road to Ladies Valley Road including the community of Outingdale, Ant Hill Road, Perry Creek Road and Sand Ridge between Ladies Valley Road and Bucks Bar Road.
East of Mt Aukum Road (E16) from Bucks Bar Road to Omo Ranch Road. North of Omo Ranch Road to the intersection of Omo Ranch Road and Fairplay Road.
South of Omo Ranch to the El Dorado County Line between Mt Aukum Road (E16) and Fairplay Road to include Coyoteville Road, Cedar Creek and all tributary roads.
Cameron Park CSD Evacuation Shelter 2502 Country Club Drive, Cameron Park
Green Valley Church Evacuation Shelter 3500 Missouri Flat Rd., Placerville
Diamond Springs Fire Hall Evacuation Center is full.
Bill Rozak is the Editor for the Tahoe Daily Tribune, a sister publication to the Sierra Sun. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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