September 24 2021 03:30 pm

Strike teams, bulldozer work to battle Caldor Fire, clear forest ground

Wildfire Watch

(KTXL) – Crews worked hard Wednesday to battle the Caldor Fire and clear away dead forest to prevent the situation from happening again.

Thick smoke filled the air, as flames burned on the North South Road.

The fire moved closer to the Pi-Pi Valley as manzanita crackled while the flames burned through trees and dried brush.

Wednesday there was a lot of smoke and ash in the air, with fire on both sides of the road.

Strike teams say the fire was on the move, but they spread out throughout the valley to establish more fire lines. Just a few miles away the masticator raked the forest ground of downed trees, grass and dead shrubs.

A bulldozer shoved mounds of dead forest out of the way along Omo Ranch Road.

The bulldozer owner, Matt Nottnagel, says something needs to be done to clean up and clear out our forests. Otherwise, it’s inevitable the forests will burn uncontrollably again.

“Once it’s burnt, 60-70 years before it grows back,” Nottnagel said. “And you can go right here to the Butte Fire, where we were, and wherever it wasn’t sprayed or managed, it’s just brush. So, once the fires roll through, if it doesn’t get maintained again, it’s just going to be brush and another fire in 10 years.”

About 50 miles away, on the other side of the fire along Highway 50, Mike Hirst of Costa Mesa stopped to snap pictures of a red helicopter.

“I’ve been in some fires in Northern California,” Hirst told FOX40. 

The helicopter made several pickups of water from the south fork of the American River and dropped bucket loads of water near Ice House Road and the highway, where flames were higher up but couldn’t be seen from the roadway.

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