September 24 2021 03:30 pm

El Dorado County residents grateful for fire crews’ efforts against Caldor Fire

Local News

EL DORADO COUNTY, Calif. (KTXL) — The Caldor Fire is threatening homes across El Dorado County from Twin Bridges to the Christmas Valley and the River Park Estates all the way down to the Pioneer Trail.

With the Eldorado National Forest in their backyards, flames from the wildfire kept residents and firefighters on the move.

Fire crews worked hard to try and save a Twin Bridges cabin, but they couldn’t stop the flames.

Less than a quarter-mile from the cabin remains, firefighters sprayed around a home to try and protect it as unpredictable winds fueled the fire.

“It’s an emotional rollercoaster,” homeowner Maria Quan told FOX40.

The dry pine needles provided fuel for the fire to creep along the ground and devour shrubs before jumping up into the trees.

With skies too smoky for helicopters and air tankers, boots on the ground are everything to the residents hoping to come back home to their neighborhoods.

While the fire came close to backyards in the Christmas Valley, no homes were destroyed.

Video shows charred areas near the neighborhood that were threatened by the flames Monday night, but a firefighter-built dozer line created a fire break between the flames and the threatened properties.

In South Lake Tahoe, homes along Pioneer Tail are in the evacuation zone.

For sisters Maria Quan and Donna Conde, their childhood home in the area is still intact, but they still worry about their friends and the lives invested in the city.

“I’m grateful that people have been able to evacuate and are safe, but at the same time, there’s so much sadness,” Quan said.

“And it’s like your identity. You take pride in having been grown up there. Just really sad and feeling really tense, cause like, we don’t know,” Conde said.

They say it’s not knowing is the hardest. For their friend Paige, the fire is personal.

“My nephew is on the line, fighting this fire,” Paige told FOX40.

While driving through Christmas Valley, many engines and hand crews can be seen staged or actively working to keep neighborhoods safe.

“And I want to acknowledge like, the firefighters. They’re like in battle. They’re heroes,” Conde said.

Firefighters are hiking into the woods from Highway 50, dragging hoses, spraying down hot spots, they’re also carrying hand tools to clear the forest floor. They still have a long road ahead before this fire is contained or controlled.

In the Christmas Valley, winds were relatively calm Tuesday night and the fire appears to be moving slowly, offering hope for the Tahoe Basin.

“We’re just so embedded. So, even all of us being in different locations,” Paige said. “We’re all connected.”

“To call it your home is amazing. And it never goes away,” Conde said.  

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