Forecast high winds could hit 50-60 mph over Caldor Fire

Jacks Valley resident Ellie Waller flew over the Caldor Fire on Sept 18.

Jacks Valley resident Ellie Waller flew over the Caldor Fire on Sept 18.


Firefighters are bracing for today’s cold front that’s expected to bring 50-60 mph wind gusts to the Caldor Fire along the ridgetops.

“Analysts expect fire behavior to intensify, with increased smoke and burning within the interior of containment lines,” fire officials said on Sunday night. “In preparation, fire personnel have strengthened and secured contingency lines along high-risk areas.”

Because of the forest’s extreme flammability, firefighters are concerned about embers spreading spot fires on the other side of containment lines.

Officials hope that counter fires conducted last week will help slow the fire’s expansion in the windstorm and give them the time they need to complete a line between the fire and Alpine County and Christmas Valley.

As of Monday morning, there are indications of active fire five miles southwest of Highway 89 near the southern edge of Christmas Valley.

The fire appears to have remained within its perimeters overnight on the southeastern flank north of Caples Lake.

Heat mapping shows around 800 acres burning in the region 1.4 miles west of Little Round Top and the Sierra crest.

On the northern flank, the fire appears to be burning across a salient toward Ralston Peak just west of Echo Lake.

“Crews are preparing for rapid response to spot fires during the high wind event,” officials said.

At last report, the fire has consumed 221,774 acres since it was first reported on Aug. 14 south of Grizzly Flat.

The fire has been at 76 percent containment for the last week, with most of the active burning occurring in the “alligator’s mouth” north of Caples Lake. The date for full containment of the megafire was set back from today to Oct. 16 as rugged steep terrain in the high Sierra slowed line construction.


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