As Caldor Fire growth slows, cleanup efforts get underway

Wildfire Watch

Cal Fire: 7 a.m. Caldor Fire Incident Update

The Latest – Wednesday, Sept. 15

11 a.m.

Previous evacuation orders for Caldor have been downgraded to an evacuation warning. This area includes Plummer Ridge south through North South Road, including the western portions of Cat Creek and Lower Cat Creek Road. — Click or tap here for more information.

Original story below:

EL DORADO COUNTY, Calif. (AP/KTXL) — The Caldor Fire, for a second day, burned no additional acres as some evacuation orders in the area were downgraded and containment slightly increased.

The Department of Toxic Substances Control has begun cleanup efforts in the Grizzly Flats area to help communities rebuild after the Caldor Fire wreaked havoc. 

DTSC’s process includes “safely identifying and removing household hazardous waste and bulk asbestos from damaged properties that could pose a risk to people, animals and the environment,” the agency said in a release. 

Californians have dealt with tremendous loss due to wildfires in recent years. Our emergency crews have been cleaning up fire after fire already this season and we continue to work hand-in-hand with other agencies to help the people and protect the environment of California.

Meredith Williams, DTSC Director
219,267Acres Burned
16,546Structures Threatened
1,003 (782 Homes)Structures Destroyed
Sept. 15, 7 a.m. Cal Fire Numbers
DTSC Emergency Response Crews assessed and removed household hazardous waste from the Walt Tyler Elementary School in Grizzly Flats, CA. The school was destroyed by the Caldor Fire.

President Joe Biden took an aerial tour of land charred by the Caldor Fire Monday after getting a briefing from Gov. Gavin Newsom and officials at the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services.

“These fires are blinking ‘code red’ for our nation. They’re gaining frequency and ferocity,” Biden said after concluding the tour of the fire that threatened communities around Lake Tahoe. “We know what we have to do.”

The president used his first Western swing in office to hold out the wildfires burning across the region as an argument for his $3.5 trillion rebuilding plans, calling year-round fires and other extreme weather a climate change reality the nation can no longer ignore.

Overnight into Wednesday, in the West Zone, fuels smoldered and crept away from control lines, Cal Fire reported. Scattered heat near control lines is posing a threat in some areas.

In the East Zone, fire crews are continuing to prioritize containment near Trimmer Peak and Scout Peak, near Caples Lake.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is ending its region-wide forest closure Wednesday night, but the Eldorado National Forest and Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit closures remain in place.

More than 16,500 structures remain threatened, Cal Fire reported. At least 782 homes, 18 commercial properties and 203 minor structures have been destroyed by the fire. Eighty-one structures have been damaged.

Cal Fire reported their damage inspections are 100% complete after assessing 3,356 structures.

El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office officials have been updating a map indicating the status of structures. Click here to view.

Officials have set up a command trailer this week for Grizzly Flats residents who were unable to receive their residential permits to see their property on Sunday or Monday.

Many people came back Sunday, but only a handful of homes have survived.

“It’s just ashes,” resident Michelle Garner told FOX40 over the weekend.

El Dorado County officials have launched a Caldor Fire Recovery page to help those impacted by the fire.

Nearly 2,500 people are under evacuation orders as of Tuesday afternoon, including more than 2,400 people in El Dorado County and 61 in Amador County, according to Cal OES.

A map with current evacuation information can be found by clicking or tapping here

The Highway 50 closure has been reduced in some areas, but it remains closed from Kyburz to Meyers.

The entirety of South Lake Tahoe was evacuated due to the Caldor Fire. Residents have since been able to return, and any major casinos and resorts in the area have also resumed operations.

Caesars Entertainment Inc.’s Harveys Lake Tahoe casino is due to reopen for slots and table games on Friday and to hotel guests Saturday.

As of Wednesday morning, 18 people have been injured in the Caldor Fire, including 16 firefighters, Cal Fire reported.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Residents can sign up for their county’s emergency alert system for evacuation information using the links below:

Evacuation information can also be found at the social media pages and sites below:

The following locations have been listed as evacuation centers: 

  • Rolling Hills Church at 800 White Rock Road in El Dorado Hills, CA, in El Dorado County
  • Reno-Sparks Convention Center at 4590 South Virginia Street in Reno, NV, in Washoe County

Families who need assistance sheltering small animals can contact the El Dorado County Animal Services at 530-621-5795.

The El Dorado County Local Assistance Center at Folsom Lake College has temporarily closed. Residents can click or tap here for more information on recovery services, or email or call 530-621-5101.

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