GRIZZLY FLATS, Calif. (KTXL) — Firefighters from nine different states continued to battle the Caldor Fire in El Dorado County Wednesday as it made its way toward the Lake Tahoe Basin.
Firefighters are still trying to halt the Caldor Fire from getting to Echo Summit on Highway 50. Periodic spot fires began jumping the freeway Tuesday.
While there are homes along the South Fork of the American River around Kyburz, there are more homes around Sly Park and Grizzly Flats — some of them painted pink with fire retardant by fire crews as flames approached. Helicopters filled the skies near Grizzly Flats as islands of fire in areas already burned flared up, producing plumes of smoke.
On the other side of a containment line made by bulldozers, hotspots flared up down below. Firefighters feared that they would produce embers that would cause hotspots on the other side of the fire line.
A helicopter attack knocked down the flames. Still, firefighters ran hose along the containment line to protect homes on the other side of the ridge.
“This is the area where the fire started that has been problematic since the beginning of this incident,” explained Caldor Fire Public Information Officer Dana Walsh.
On Grizzly Flat Road, dozens of fire engines and crews were stationed around evacuated homes and several wineries.
“We’ve had active structure protection, structure defense crews out there. They’ve been applying fire retardant to homes. They’ve been actively trying to put out fires as they are occurring,” Walsh said.
Later in the day and into the evening, backfires will be used again ahead of the fire to starve it of fuel.
Cooler, more humid weather has helped the firefight over the last 24 hours, and it will continue to be a factor for firefighters.
“It has been, incrementally, a little bit hotter, a little bit drier, but we still aren’t having any of those red flag weather conditions that would be giving us a lot of concern at this point,” Walsh explained.
Firefighters will welcome any advantage at this point.