The Latest – Tuesday, Aug. 17:
An emergency closure of the Eldorado National Forest has been announced due to the Caldor Fire.
Original Story Below:
EL DORADO COUNTY, Calif. (KTXL) — Fire crews are battling the Caldor Fire in the El Dorado National Forest, which exploded Tuesday to 30,000 acres.
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 also told the Sly Park area to evacuate immediately, along with the north side of Highway 50 from Larsen Drive to the west and Ice House to the east.
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.
Officials published a public information line for people to call: 530-303-2455.
The evacuation center at the Diamond Springs Fire Hall and at the Cameron Park Community Services District on Country Club Drive in Cameron Park are both full. The Green Valley Community Church in Placerville is still available.
Cal Fire also reported structure loss in Leoni Meadows.
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.
Cal Fire reported two civilians were injured overnight into Tuesday morning in Grizzly Flats. One person was seriously hurt and approached firefighters for help before being hospitalized. The other person was also severely injured and later flown to a local hospital.
A red flag warning is in effect for Northern California until 8 p.m. Wednesday.
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. To help with battling the fire, a Fire Management Assistance Grant was secured by California, the governor’s office announced Tuesday.
The El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office said Sunday communities in the area “should be on alert and prepared to evacuate.” A map with current evacuation information can be found by clicking or tapping here.
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.