Tuesday Night Update: Caldor Fire reaches 50 percent containment

The Tahoe Douglas Fire Protection District fire boat patrols the Lake during the Caldor Fire.

The Tahoe Douglas Fire Protection District fire boat patrols the Lake during the Caldor Fire.


Handline construction from Trimmer Peak to Luther Spire was completed today, according to Caldor Fire officials.

Hot shots have been working in the area around Fountain Place and have constructed dozer line ahead of the northeastern edge of the fire between Trimmer Peak and Jobs Sister and Freel peaks.

Crews are working felling trees severely damaged by the fire along highways 50, 88 and 89.

Containment hit 50 percent today as six miles of line secured the west side of Christmas Valley and the area east of Meyers, which allowed residents of Pioneer Trail in South Lake Tahoe to return home.

As of Tuesday night, the fire had grown 361 acres to 217,007 acres, according to the update.

Prior Story

Most of the damage from the Caldor Fire’s push into the Tahoe Basin occurred on the ridge west of Highway 50 where three-dozen structures mostly homes were burned.

According to damage mapping released by the U.S. Forest Service, a two-story home along the Upper Truckee was destroyed along with a South Tahoe Public Utility structure.

Receiving minor damage in the fire was the El Dorado County Animal Shelter and a large commercial garage.

Barton Memorial Hospital received approval on Monday to reopen its emergency department and acute care services, with emergency imaging and laboratory services. Barton Urgent Care in Stateline reopened Monday morning.

As firefighters approach 50 percent containment on the 338-square-mile fire and residents are allowed to return home, officials anticipate receiving more smoke calls from vegetation burning within the perimeter.

Efforts to contain the fire show in Tuesday's mapping based on satellite fire detection data which reveals a spot 6 miles north of Picketts Junction in the last 12 hours. Most of the 8,000-acre spot fire northeast of Luther Pass is still smoldering but does not appear to be expanding beyond its perimeter. There is an indication of some significant fire in that region on Labor Day.

Satellite mapping shows some active fire due north of Luther Pass close to the containment lines this morning. More active is the south edge of the fire north of Strawberry Creek and on either side of the extension near Caples Lake.

The fire continues to burn in the Sierra, generating smoke in Carson Valley.

National Weather Service forecasters in Reno said that residents downwind of the Caldor and Dixie fires should expect continued poor air quality.

“Smoke will fill portions of the Tahoe Basin and settle into some Western Nevada valleys during the overnight and early morning hours,” forecasters said. “Late afternoon and evening light breezes will pick up today and through the rest of the week, which will help with smoke dispersal and air quality.”

Forecasters said air quality will depend on the fire activity.

Airnow.gov shows air quality in Minden improved into the moderate range on Monday night before deteriorating into unhealthy conditions this morning, as forecast.


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