‘We want to take advantage’: Crews work to protect Tahoe from Caldor Fire while conditions are in their favor

Wildfire Watch

(KTXL) – Conditions are improving Thursday for the firefighters who are working hard to keep the flames away from South Lake Tahoe.

About 10 miles down from the lakeshore, a hotshot crew in Christmas Valley made it their goal to take advantage of Thursday’s low winds and do more controlled burns on the east side of the Caldor Fire to keep the burn moving upward and away from the area.

Cal Fire says their priority is to keep trimming and cutting down trees along Christmas Valley and areas in the east zone. Cal Fire says they also want to put attention on Kirkwood, which could be an explosive area come Thursday night.

Crews are also planning to attempt more airdrops due to clearer conditions. Wednesday night, air support dropped about 80,000 gallons of fire retardant.

Captain Parker Wilbourn with Sacramento Metropolitan Fire says they currently have about 4,000 fire personnel working to make sure the flames do not spread to Tahoe homes.

“Today our winds have kind of died down. We’ve got a decreased level of heat and relative humidity, so we want to take advantage of that time we have to bolster some of our containment lines,” Wilbourn said. “They’re doing backfiring operations. What that’s doing is removing some of the fuel that can potentially spark if the weather conditions shift and keep that from getting out of control.”

FOX40 crews also spotted several people stopped at a California Highway Patrol checkpoint along Highway 50 who were attempting to get back into the evacuation zone. Wilbourn and Cal Fire ask that people please continue practicing patience as they continue this hard firefight.

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