About 104,000 acres of forest and shrubland have been burned so far by the raging Caldor fire that is out of control. The causes have not yet been confirmed, and 40 mph winds on Sunday, carried the fire in a new direction, moving northwest.
The state of California, which continues to suffer from severe droughts, is now shaken by the new wildfire that has been burning for more than a week in the northern part of the state, is out of control, and has already caused the destruction of hundreds of structures and the evacuation of thousands of affected people, reports the local media Mercury News.
The fire started on August 14, and investigators continue to analyze the possible causes.
For an entire week, the flames of the Caldor Fire have ravaged trees and shrubs in the northern Sierra Nevada. Strong winds, extreme heat, and low humidity intensified the situation, which firefighters have not yet been able to control.
It was only on Sunday that firefighters hoped to take advantage of calmer weather and cooler temperatures, a day after strong wind gusts allowed the fire to advance across Federal Highway 50, threatening more remote communities in El Dorado County who were affected by hazardous air conditions.
Faced with the chaotic situation, authorities had to announce the closure of all national forests until Labor Day, September 6. The order prohibits all entrances for recreational use, including forest roads and trails.
“To Better Provide Public And Firefighter Safety Due To Extreme Fire Conditions Throughout Northern California, And Strained Firefighter Resources Throughout The Country, The Usda Forest Service Pacific Southwest Region Is Announcing A Temporary Closure Of Nine National Forests. This Closure Will Be Effective On August 22, 2021, At 11:59 P.m. Through September 6, 2021.”
Separately, Highway 50 remained closed to traffic after the fire attacked it Saturday night. Firefighters said the highway functioned as a key line to slow the fire’s progress.
From fire headquarters in Placerville, they reported that overnight Saturday, Aug. 21, gusts of about 25 mph (50 kph) pushed smoke and flames northeastward, approaching the highway and small communities scattered along and around the highway.
In all, more than 1,500 firefighters and support crews tackled the fire throughout the day on Saturday to try to fight the wind-fed flames and prevent the fire from crossing the highway.
By Sunday night, the Caldor Fire had spread to 104,309 acres (420 square kilometers), the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection reported. Firefighters have only managed to control 5% of the fire, although they showed some optimism after the window of calm granted by the weather during Sunday.
It should be noted that the Caldor is not the only fire that firefighters in California must face. In fact, at this moment, five active fires are causing disasters to the community.
The Dixie Fire, the second-largest in the state’s history, is already 40% controlled but has completely burned some 700,000 acres (2800 square kilometers).