September 24 2021 03:30 pm

Firefighters fight to preserve Kirkwood, keep Caldor Fire north of Hwy 88

Wildfire Watch

ALPINE COUNTY, Calif. (KTXL) — Flames from the Caldor Fire in the Kirkwood area continue to push northeast.

Although the resort area is safe at the moment, the fire in that area rages on. Massive flames shot up from the trees near Caples Lake. The wind also picked up significantly Thursday.

As long as the flames stayed to the north of Highway 88, there isn’t much crews could do. But the winds didn’t keep flames in any one spot.

Because of that, hand crews ahead of the blaze cleared branches off the road to keep the fire from crossing the highway. It’s a job without much wiggle room, said Matt Bradford with the U.S. Forest Service.

“The fire is pushing up on us quicker and it’s forcing us to do this a little bit sooner than we would like to,” Bradford said. “Ideally, if the wind wasn’t pushing this way we would be waiting a couple more hours, letting it cool down, hoping that down-canyon winds would begin and it would be blowing the other way and it would be in our favor.”

The reason firefighters want the flames to go in the other direction is that there are few structures that way. Along the lake to the east, there are some cabins and other structures they’re hoping to protect.

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