A stretch of land expanding more than 114 thousand acres continues to burn Tuesday. The Caldor Fire devastation grows as more than 447 homes and six commercial structures have been completely destroyed in El Dorado County.
The California wildfire ignited Aug. 14. For almost a week, firefighters couldn’t contain the flames that jumped from Highway 50. As of Monday evening, first responders contained the massive fire at 9 percent.
What was once the Grizzly Flats, a neighborhood in the community, is now remnants of smoke and blackened structures, according to local reports. About 1,200 people lived in the area before it caught fire.
Additionally, heartbreaking footage of the damage shows homes engulfed in flames.
“One of the things that’s been impacting a lot of these fires is the rollout that’s been occurring, which is dead timber on fire, starting to roll down and it can cross over containment lines and ignite other vegetation along the path,” public information officer for Cal Fire Capt. Keith Wade said.
Thousands of people are under evacuation orders as nearly 18,000 other structures are threatened. Highway 50 will stay closed off. Additionally, several parks and trails shut down to visitors. Most will not reopen until mid-September.
The question now is whether the fire will reach Lake Tahoe, officials said.
Cal Fire Director Thom Porter warned that the area will remain under watch as there’s no telling how the fire could expand.
“We have all efforts in place to keep it out of the basin, but we do need to also be aware that that is a possibility based on the way the fires have been burning and the concerns that we have been living in all of these other fires and their growth,” Porter said.
A Summer of Wildfires
Mother Nature continues rearing its ugly head as California and other states in the west fight the extreme heat and dry weather.
The massive Caldor Fire comes just after the record-breaking Dixie Fire.
“We know this fire has done things that nobody could have predicted, but that’s how firefighting has been in the state this year,” Eldorado National Forest Supervisor Chief Jeff Marsolais said.
Sadly, the Dixie Fire burned almost 500,000 acres in Plumas, Butte, Tehama, and Lassen counties. In addition, nearly 1,000 structures were consumed. Entire neighborhoods experienced loss and devastation.
Not surprisingly, the droughts in the west affected many states. Montana, Oregon, California, and Arizona have all been hit hard. The dry climate has made the chance of fire extremely high.