More than two months after it broke out and threatened the iconic Lake Tahoe region, the Caldor Fire was 100% contained as of Thursday, fire officials said.© Provided by Mercury News SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, CA - SEPTEMBER 02: Copperopolis firefighters monitor a controlled burn along Highway 89 in the Christmas Valley area near South Lake Tahoe, Calif., on Thursday, Sept. 2, 2021. More than 20,000 residents were evacuated due to the Caldor Fire. (Jane Tyska/Bay Area News Group)
The fire — which ultimately burned 221,835 acres across three counties — captured international attention after it emerged on Aug. 14 in El Dorado County and raced toward the northeast, blowing past hopeful containment lines, throwing flames into the Tahoe Basin and forcing the evacuation of thousands from the lake’s shoreline.
Three days after it started, the fire exploded into the town of Grizzly Flats, razing entire streets in the 1,200-person community and prompting Cal Fire to request hundreds more sought-after firefighters — many of whom arrived, exhausted, from weeks on the front lines of the massive Dixie Fire.
Over the next week, high winds stirred the flames to the northeast and forced the indefinite closure of Highway 50. By Aug. 30, the 50,000-some people living in the South Lake area were ordered to evacuated, causing a massive traffic jam and a “nightmare scenario” for those who never expected to flee their homes.
Along the way, the fire managed to tear past key stops where fire officials hoped to contain it: First crossing Highway 50, then the ski resort Sierra-at-Tahoe, and finally the granite rockface of Echo Summit.
But throughout the first week of September, a shift toward gentler weather conditions allowed crews to start gaining sizable containment of the fire, corralling both its western and eastern edges and evoking cautious optimism for the first time. Thousands of residents began heading back home.
As of Thursday, officials said, the fire was not completely put out, with some smoldering and isolated burning expected to continue into the winter months. But with more than 400 miles of containment lines around its perimeter, the blaze was no longer expected to expand outward.
California’s ongoing drought has contributed to a brutal fire season this summer, with nearly 2.5 million total acres burned, three fatalities and about 3,600 structures destroyed or damaged, according to Cal Fire. The Caldor Fire alone destroyed more than 1,000 structures, with damage assessments still ongoing.
Starting late this week, an influx of rainy weather was expected to lessen fire danger throughout Northern California — but not end it completely.
In the Santa Cruz Mountains, a controlled Cal Fire burn near Watsonville jumped past containment lines over the weekend, forcing a retired fire chief and his son to battle the blaze on their own property. That blaze, named the Estrada Fire, was 100% contained as of Wednesday, officials said.
The Dixie Fire, California’s second-largest wildfire in history, covered 963,309 acres in five counties as of Thursday and was 97% contained. The KNP Complex burning in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks was 88,307 acres and 60% contained.
Source : https://www.msn.com/en-us/weather/topstories/two-months-after-threatening-tahoe-basin-caldor-fire-is-100-25-contained/ar-AAPO2Zp804