Caldor Fire in El Dorado County explodes to nearly 54,000 acres

KGO logo
Wednesday, August 18, 2021
El Dorado Co. wildfire explodes in size, several structures destroyed
The Caldor Fire burning in El Dorado County south of Pollock Pines exploded in size Monday night prompting mandatory evacuations.

POLLOCK PINES, Calif. (KGO) -- The Caldor Wildfire is burning out of control in El Dorado County, prompting new evacuation orders along Highway 50.

Right now, the fire is nearly 54,000 acres, about twice the size of San Francisco, and zero percent contained. On Tuesday, the blaze was 6,500 acres but exploded in size as high temperatures, low humidity and gusts drove the flames.

The fire has already devastated the town of Grizzly Flats, a forest community of about 1,200 people. Few homes were left standing in Grizzly Flats, where streets were littered with downed power lines and poles. Houses were reduced to smoldering ash and twisted metal with only chimneys rising above the ruins. A post office and elementary school were also destroyed.

CAL FIRE issued new evacuation orders Tuesday night for the south side of Highway 50 north of Sly Park and extends west to Snows Rd. Those orders also include the north side of Highway 50 from Larsen Dr. to the west and Ice House to the east.

Here is a map of the latest evacuation orders issued by the El Dorado County Sheriff's Office:

For a better experience, click here to view the full map in a new window

Pollock Pines, a town of about 7,000, was included in a wide area added to evacuation orders late Tuesday as the fire covered nearly 36 square miles.

TAKE ACTION: Tips for how to help and stay safe during and after a wildfire

Fire officials estimated that at least 50 homes had burned in the area since the blaze erupted Saturday and two people were hospitalized with serious injuries.

Gov. Gavin Newsom proclaimed a state of emergency in El Dorado County, where authorities were considering closing the entire El Dorado National Forest.

"We know this fire has done things that nobody could have predicted, but that's how firefighting has been in the state this year," El Dorado National Forest Supervisor Chief Jeff Marsolais said at a briefing.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Click here for the latest on evacuations from the El Dorado County Sherrif's Office.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

For a better experience, click here to view the full map in a new window