Caldor fire spreads to California, east of state capital

As another day of hot, dry weather began in California on Wednesday, the state’s two largest fires – Dixie and McFarland – were no close...

As another day of hot, dry weather began in California on Wednesday, the state’s two largest fires – Dixie and McFarland – were no closer to being brought under control than they had been 24 Hours earlier.

It wasn’t the only bad news. The Caldor fire, which began on Saturday, had destroyed a total of about 54,000 acres by Tuesday night, mostly in the previous 24 hours, New York Times wildfire tracker says. The rapid spread of the fire forced authorities to issue a mandatory evacuation order on Tuesday for Pollock Pines, a community of 7,000 people located less than 100 km northeast of Sacramento, the state capital.

“It’s pretty darn close,” John Woodworth, manager of a mobile home park in Pollock Pines, said of the fire in an interview with The Sacramento Bee Journal, a few hours before the evacuation of the community. “If the tide turns, we are in trouble. “

The Caldor fire ravaged an area much smaller than the number of acres burned by the Dixie (over 600,000) or McFarland (nearly 100,000) fires. But Tuesday night it wasn’t content at all, while Dixie was 31% content and McFarland 51% content. Cal Fire, the state firefighting agency, describes the Caldor fire as a “dynamic and rapidly developing incident”.

Northern California officials said high winds, low humidity, dry soil and scorching temperatures combine this week to produce a considerably high fire risk, at least until Wednesday.

As a sign of this concern, Pacific Gas & Electric began cutting power to approximately 51,000 customers in 18 of the state’s counties on Tuesday evening. It cited potential sustained wind gusts of up to 40 miles per hour, as well as “extreme to exceptional drought conditions and extremely dry vegetation,” as contributing to the risk that power lines could start forest fires. The utility said electricity is expected to be restored on Wednesday after improving weather conditions.

The cause of the Dixie fire is still under investigation. In July, PG&E said blown fuses on one of its utility poles may have tripped it.

The Dixie Fire is one of dozens of wildfires raging in the West and one of many large fires in and around small communities in Northern California. This includes the Monument Fire, northwest of the McFarland and Dixie Fires, which burned more than 119,000 acres and caused further evacuations Tuesday night. It was only 10 percent content.

Some places that were once shelters for evacuees are now preparing for the arrival of flames and smoke. The city of Susanville, California, for example, has recently been a haven for people fleeing fires in nearby communities, including devastated town of Greenville. Now there are more and more concerns that the town itself could be on the way to the Dixie fire, the second largest in the state on record.

On Tuesday evening, the Caldor fire, which started this weekend in the Eldorado National Forest, was moving northeast – away from the capital, Sacramento Bee reported. But authorities said cool winds were forecast to blow on fire Wednesday, some of them from the northeast.

Meteorologists have warned that a predicted wind direction change in northern California on Tuesday evening could exacerbate existing fires and growing smoke from forest fires in the San Francisco Bay Area by Wednesday morning. Warm gusts from the north in the forecast – known as Diablo Winds – generally blows towards the Pacific Ocean from higher altitudes in the northeast. They can worsen forest fires or cause them to spread more quickly.

The Caldor fire has already injured at least two people and destroyed an elementary school and a post office, among other structures. El Dorado County Government noted on Facebook late Tuesday that one of the three centers designated for evacuees was full and a hospital down the road was capacity close because it has treated both coronavirus patients and people with smoke inhalation.

In a separate article, the hospital, Marshall Medical Center, urged those evacuated by firefighters who had tested positive for Covid-19 to avoid coming for treatment if they were not short of breath and did not need emergency care.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Caldor fire spreads to California, east of state capital
Caldor fire spreads to California, east of state capital
Newsrust - US Top News
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