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CAL Fire: ‘Unprecedented Fire Behavior And Growth’ On Caldor Fire

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Sonora, CA – The Caldor Fire burning in El Dorado County exploded overnight soaring from over 22,000 estimated acres to more than 53,000 this morning while sheriff’s officials also detail a strange arson arrest not related to the blaze.

Incident Command noted that the fire continued to “experience unprecedented fire behavior and growth due to extremely dry fuels pushed by the southwest winds. A red flag warning is still in effect for the fire area through 8 p.m. tonight with winds switching to the northeast and combined with low humidity and extremely dry fuels, lead to critical fire weather conditions.” As reported here that warning also included the Stanislaus National Forest and has been extended until Thursday morning.

The fast-moving fire led to multiple evacuations yesterday for communities in its path. Forest Fire officials report some structures were damaged or destroyed. They note that structure assessment teams will be “evaluating these areas as soon as it is safe for them to do so.”

There is no update on the resources battling the blaze, as fire officials detailed that additional resources were immediately deployed upon their arrival due to the “rapidly changing, complexity and immediate needs of the incident,” which prevented a count from being taken. They added that significant resources continue to be assigned to this incident.

Two civilians suffered serious injuries and had to be flown to a nearby hospital as a result of the fire, detailed here. What ignited the blaze is under investigation. Incident Command gives an August 31st date for the estimated full containment of the fire.

Not related to the Caldor Fire, but of note due to its relatively close proximity to the blaze in El Dorado County, sheriff’s officials reported last Wednesday of a bizarre arson arrest in the South Lake Tahoe area. The same day as the Caldor Fire ignited,  deputies responded to the area of the Aspen Creek Tract near Echo Summit for a report of a wildland fire and discovered an adult female suspect dressed in a bikini and covered in scratches and soot.

The woman, 43-year-old Viola Liu from Fremont,   later admitted to starting the fire, which was corroborated by other evidence in the investigation, according to sheriff’s detectives. Liu was arrested for Arson, possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia, and resisting/obstructing a peace officer. Sheriff’s officials did specify the drugs found or how she resisted arrest, or give any further details on the set fire.

  • Vegetation Fire near South Lake Tahoe in El Dorado County