Aug 22, 2021 - Energy & Environment

Caldor Fire grows in size, remains uncontained

A firefighter battles flames
A firefighter battles flames during the Caldor Fire in Kyburz, California, on Saturday. Photo: David Odisho/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Eight days since its ignition, Northern California's Caldor Fire has grown to 98,149 acres and remains 0% contained, according to an update from Cal Fire on Sunday.

Driving the news: El Dorado National Forest supervisor Jeff Marsolais said at a briefing Saturday that firefighters are seeing fuel conditions that even those who have "spent their whole careers fighting fire have never seen before."

  • In addition, windy conditions have exacerbated the size of the fire, he added.
  • "The system is as taxed as it's ever been," Marsolais said of firefighting resources. "And our folks on the ground are doing everything they can within their power and working some incredible strategies."

The big picture: The Caldor fire has destroyed 320 structures and is threatening another 13,000, CNN reports.

  • Last week, the fire prompted mandatory evacuation orders for communities in El Dorado County as well as the declaration of a state of emergency by Gov. Gavin Newsom.
  • Evacuation warnings are in effect in Amador County as well, officials said at the Saturday briefing.

State of play: Currently 94 active fires are burning across the country, covering more than 2 million acres. Only three of the fires are contained, according to the National Interagency Fire Center.

  • The fires burning across the country come as Western states are in the grip of a prolonged, severe drought exacerbated by human-caused climate change.
  • In Northern California, fuel moisture and flammability are especially conducive to extreme wildfire behavior.
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