Thousands evacuated as Northern California blaze triples in size in 24 hours, destroys dozens of homes (VIDEOS)
Thousands are evacuating from Northern California as the Caldor Fire has charred nearly 50,000 acres and destroyed dozens of homes, and officials are warning of conditions creating a “perfect combination” for it to spread further.
“The Caldor Fire continued to experience unprecedented fire behavior and growth due to extremely dry fuels pushed by the south west winds,” the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) said of the El Dorado County blaze.
In their latest update on fighting the fire, fire officials said a “red flag warning” has been extended through tomorrow, according to the National Weather Service. Red flag warnings are issued “for weather events which may result in extreme fire behavior that will occur within 24 hours.”
The Red Flag Warning has been extended through tomorrow. Gusty winds will continue through tonight for the western Sierra & tomorrow evening for the Valley, creating critical fire weather conditions. Strongest winds are still expected tonight. #CAwx#CAfirepic.twitter.com/8m51iW6VKu— NWS Sacramento (@NWSSacramento) August 18, 2021
Dry conditions and wind have created a “perfect combination” for the fire to spread, Chief Daniel Berlant told reporters on Wednesday.
A satellite video posted by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration shows the quick growth of the fire.
#SATELLITE SPOTLIGHT: @NOAA's #GOES17🛰️ was tracking the explosive growth of the #CaldorFire last evening, seen here burning east of Sacramento, California. The #wildfire has grown to nearly 23,000 acres and thousands of people have been forced to evacuate. #CAwxpic.twitter.com/9LD0YI6mck— NOAA Satellites - Public Affairs (@NOAASatellitePA) August 18, 2021
Fire officials said the fire grew 47,200 acres in just 24 hours.
Governor Gavin Newsom previously declared a state of emergency in El Dorado County in response to the growing flames. Evacuation orders for numerous areas like Grizzly Flat, Perry Creek and Hawk Haven have been issued as the fire has spread and destroyed property, including dozens of homes, an elementary school, a post office, and multiple other buildings, according to officials. At least two people have been injured, both having to be airlifted to hospitals.
Overnight, the Caldor Fire burned thousands of acres in El Dorado County. The post office, several surrounding buildings, the fire department, and the elementary school are just some of the structures that are confirmed to have burned down. pic.twitter.com/HgzuZ7WoUj— ABC10 (@ABC10) August 17, 2021
Thousands have already been evacuated, according to a Wednesday update from state emergency services.
The fire began on Saturday, but the origins remain unknown.
Many have been taking to social media to post the destruction the fire has left in areas and the conditions in highly affected areas, such as Mormon Emigrant Trail.
Driving conditions on Mormon emigrant trail at the #caldorfire 6 or so miles east of Jenkinson lake. Impassable and turned around just after this. Media shouldn't be out here without a chainsaw and a fire shelter w training on how to use it. pic.twitter.com/kVUcl31qom— Stuart Palley (@stuartpalley) August 18, 2021
The fire has led to the emergency closure of the El Dorado National Forest through the end of September.
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