The Caldor Fire spread to a roughly 2,600-acre area northwest of Caples Lake overnight, closing a gap between the main fire and the southern leg.
Satellite mapping shows heat signatures since midnight in the area around Lake Margaret and Strawberry Creek.
Firefighters were concerned about increased fire activity has warmer temperatures and drier weather returned to the burn area.
Fire officials said they anticipated increased fire activity as gusty winds caused pine needles and small branches to fall onto smoldering areas, causing flare-ups.
At last report the fire was at 219,578 acres and 76 percent containment, but that doesn’t appear to include all of the Caples Lake region.
Firefighters are expected to focus on the area today with three interagency hotshot crews working on the fire today and two more on their way.
Low humidity levels and gusty winds will continue to create challenging fire conditions for the next several days.
Smoke and haze are expected to return today as a dry cold front passes north of Carson Valley this morning.
Air quality is reading unhealthy for sensitive groups in Minden at 6 a.m. today, according to airnow.gov. Most of the smoke this morning appears to be coming from actively burning portions of the Caldor Fire.
Forecasters say it’s possible winds this afternoon and overnight will clear the air.
Due to the Caldor Fire, the Forest Service Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit has issued two closure orders for National Forest lands in the Lake Tahoe Basin to protect the public from heavy equipment and other operations associated with suppression repair and emergency soil stabilization.
“The Caldor Fire is still burning, and significant hazards remain in the fire area. This includes heavy equipment and crew activity as well as smoldering pockets of fuel,” said Acting Forest Supervisor Gwen Sanchez. “For public and firefighter safety, these areas will remain closed until these hazards can be reduced. It is our intent to reopen these areas as soon as possible.”
The closure will also help reduce the risk of people getting trapped in the backcountry as the fire is still actively burning in some areas.
The Caldor Fire Emergency Closure Order closes National Forest lands within and surrounding the fire perimeter and is in effect through Dec. 31. The temporary Backcountry Closure Order closes Desolation Wilderness, Meiss Country and focused access corridors along the West Shore within the LTBMU and is in effect through Oct. 20.