More gains on Caldor; weather raising concerns

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. – Fire crews continued to make gains overnight on the Caldor Fire but weather forecasts for this weekend are raising some concerns.

Containment reached 53% and minimal growth occurred in the northeast and southern areas of the fire perimeter.

Firefighters worked diligently Wednesday night picking up minor spot fires and mitigating threats to structures in the west zone.

Their focus for Thursday is to keep the fire north of Highway 88.

Crews in the east zone continued building and reinforcing hand lines and mopping up. They worked to protect structures near Echo Lake.

“Today crews will continue to aggressively mop up areas adjacent to completed fire lines, working toward 300 feet of depth to ensure these critical lines hold if challenged,” the nighttime report stated. “This work is time consuming due to the steep rocky terrain with unburned pockets of vegetation and extremely dry conditions.”

Firefighters work in the Desolation Wilderness on the Caldor Fire.

A fire watch warning has been issued for the Greater Tahoe Basin, as well as for areas north of the basin. Thunderstorms are expected to move in Thursday afternoon and last into Friday.

The storms are expected to produce little rain and dry lightning could cause new fires or intensify existing ones.

Winds are also expected to pick up, bringing gusts of up to 40 mph on Friday.

“This will bring choppy conditions to area lakes along with enhanced fire danger and travel difficulties for high profile vehicles,” the weather warning stated.

Fire crews today will be focusing on securing the firelines and will continue removing hazards along Highways 50, 88 and 89.

If smoke conditions are favorable, they expect to bring in air support.

Outside of Auburn, crews were able to make huge gains on the Bridge Fire, which started Sunday September 5. The fire is at 65% containment.

The weather warning is also a concern for that fire, so the priority for today is to continue mopping up hotspots.

Evacuation orders and evacuation warnings have been lifted in all areas of the Bridge Fire. However, the Auburn State Recreation Area remains closed. Old Foresthill Road remained closed from Highway 49 to Foresthill Road and Foresthill Road has a temporary speed limit of 25 mph for the safety of firefighters and other personnel working in the area

Laney Griffo is a staff writer for the Tahoe Daily Tribune, a sister publication for the Sierra Sun. She can be reached at

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