UPDATE (8/18): By Wednesday morning the Caldor Fire was 53,772 acres and 0% contained.
UPDATE (3:30 p.m.): Gov. Gavin Newsom has proclaimed a state of emergency for El Dorado County due to the Caldor Fire, which has burned 6,500 acres.
EL DORADO COUNTY, Calif. (KTXL) (8/17) — Fire crews are battling the Caldor Fire in the El Dorado National Forest, which exploded in size overnight into Tuesday.
Grizzly Flats, Somerset and Happy Valley were ordered to evacuate late Monday and early Tuesday as the fast-moving flames moved through El Dorado County. The sheriff’s office has now told the Sly Park area to evacuate immediately.
Those communities also saw structure loss and Cal Fire said teams will move in to assess the damage when they’re able. Images from the neighborhoods in the Forest View Drive and Grizzly Flats Road area show homes and cars reduced to melted rubble and ash.
Cal Fire also reported structure loss in Leoni Meadows.
More than 2,000 structures were threatened by the fire as of Tuesday morning, Cal Fire said.
Pioneer Elementary School, Mountain Creek Middle School and Walt Tyler Elementary School are closed due to evacuations, a school official told FOX40. The Pioneer School District and Union Mine High School will not be busing students on Grizzly Flat Road or in the community of Grizzly Flats.
As of Tuesday morning, the Caldor Fire has burned 6,500 acres and remains 0% contained, Cal Fire reported. Acreage was reduced due to better mapping.
A red flag warning is in effect for Northern California until 8 p.m. Wednesday.
Tuesday morning, at least one injury was reported by authorities. One person with “critical burns” was taken to the hospital by ambulance, officials said. The plan was for that person to be picked up by helicopter and taken to a local burn center.
The U.S. Forest Service said the fire began Saturday evening four miles south of Grizzly Flats and 2 miles east of Omo Ranch.
Fire crews said the fire is burning in challenging terrain, making access difficult.
The El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office said Sunday communities in the area “should be on alert and prepared to evacuate.”
Residents can sign up for their county’s CodeRed emergency alert system for evacuation information using the links below.
The following locations have been listed as evacuation centers:
- The Fireman’s Hall at 3734 China Garden Road in Diamond Springs, CA, in El Dorado County
- Cameron Park Community Center at 2502 Country Club Drive in Cameron Park, CA, in El Dorado County
Families who need assistance sheltering small animals can contact the El Dorado County Animal Services at 530-621-5795.
Joe Wilde, a Caldor Fire evacuee, told FOX40 about sifting through his family’s possessions before evacuating.
“There’ll be a lot of stuff that’s gone,” Wilde said. “You have to be thankful because money can buy you things, but if anything happened to my boys, our pets or anything like that, they can’t be replaced.”
The cause of the fire is under investigation.