September 24 2021 03:30 pm

Firefighters shut down Hwy 50 amid battle to keep Caldor Fire south of highway

Local News

The Latest – Saturday, Aug. 21

7:30 p.m.

The Caldor Fire has grown to 90,107 acres and remains 0% contained, Cal Fire said in a statement Saturday evening. 270 structures have been destroyed.

4:45 p.m.

Eyewitnesses of the Caldor Fire told FOX40 that flames can be seen north of Highway 50.

Cal Fire issued a new mandatory evacuation order for Amador County Saturday afternoon.

People inside the areas south of Farnham Ridge Road and east of Bridgeport School Road to the Amador County line are ordered to evacuate immediately.

Click or tap here to see the latest release.

Original story below:

STRAWBERRY, Calif. (KTXL) — Sly Park to Meyers on Highway 50 is closed as the Caldor Fire continues to burn.

The stretch of highway is one of the main roadways that connects Sacramento to South Lake Tahoe.

“We did have to close Highway 50, because we did feel that it was unsafe for people to travel upon,” explained Caltrans public information officer Angela DaPrato.

The weekend winds are a major concern for firefighters as they are expected to reach up to 30 mph. Firefighters are doing their best to keep the fire just south of Highway 50.

“We’re just making sure that the highway is safe for motorists to travel upon. And we don’t want any fire actually intruding anyone’s travel,” DaPrato said.

Firefighters on the ground told FOX40 they’re bracing themselves for gusts of up to 40 mph another red flag warning is in effect.

A dark smoke plume hovered over the ridgeline as firefighters held off flames from crossing over the ridge.

“We got fire coming into here,” explained Mike Loeffler, the division group support supervisor for the U.S. Forest Service in the Eldorado National Forest. “Sometime around 6:00 yesterday, we decided to pull the plug and evacuate Kyburz just for the upcoming wind event. Better to get everyone out currently, than later.”

Firefighters said flames were further down Silver Fork Road as the homes below sat vacant.

“Fire is starting to pick up on the ridgeline. So, we got resources in place down there in Kyburz, all the way up Silver Fork,” Loeffler said.

Loeffler said as the winds increase, so will the fire activity.

“We’re just trying to hold it on Highway 50 and see where it’s going to go. And be ready for anything,” Loeffler said. “We’re doing the best we can out here.”

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