‘It is very challenging’: Crews battle terrain, monitor winds while fighting Caldor Fire

Wildfire Watch

EL DORADO COUNTY, Calif. (KTXL) – As the Caldor Fire burned through El Dorado County, fire officials said they got an unexpected break but are concerned about the wind picking up as they head into Thursday evening.

“The winds haven’t manifested to the levels that we anticipated, which is a good thing,” said Captain Keith Wade with the Sacramento Fire Department. “We are in red flag up to today and we thought we were going to get more significant wind activity.”

But as it approaches one week since fire crews started battling the Caldor Fire, Wade says there are still challenges up ahead.

“There’s significant topography challenges out in these areas with different canyons and drainage areas where the winds can shift causing issues for us,” Wade told FOX40. “So our firefighters need to remain safe out in this wildland arena.”

A lot of Thursday’s fire fighting efforts were focused along Mormon Emigrant Trail. Crews did their best to control the flames, but their biggest concern is keeping the fire away from Highway 50.

“Right now the focus is keeping this far south of Highway 50 and now we are able to with additional resources on scene,” Wade explained.

“It is very challenging for us to get in and fight the fire,” said Cal Fire Operations Section Chief Eric Schwab. “It is in some very rugged country with large timber that’s very hard to deal with.”

Fire crews also worked to make sure they protect as much infrastructure as possible. At the Sand Flats Campground, Cal Fire firefighters surveyed a flume attached to the south fork of the American River not too far from Kyburz. They said if those flames come down the hill, they are able to set a backfire on the southern part of the flume and can cut down some trees, in addition to laying down some retardant.

Crews are asking evacuated residents in the area to stay patient as they hope to get the fire under control.

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