10:28 a.m. PDT Sept. 3, 2021
The Incident Management Team reports that weather on the 212,000-acre Caldor Fire near South Lake Tahoe continued to moderate Thursday and Thursday night with cooler temperatures in the 70’s during the day with lighter southwest winds. Fire growth was minimal, increasing by about 2,000 acres. In an indication of what kind of fire behavior they had been facing for weeks, Thursday night the Fire Behavior Analyst called it good news that the spotting distance has decreased from one mile to a half mile.
At the head of the 8,000-acre finger of fire east of Highway 89 near Trimmer Peak south of South Lake Tahoe, hotshot crews were successful in extinguishing fire around numerous hot spots. Dozers and hand crews are putting in direct and indirect line on the south side of that finger. Crews are also putting in dozer line on the north side, in some places tying it in with power line rights of way.
To see all articles about the Caldor Fire on Wildfire Today, including the most recent, click HERE.
On the south side of the fire west of Kirkwood dozers and hand crews have completed a line around the south edge of the 800-acre slop over south of Highway 88, northwest of the ski area. They are installing a hose lay to keep it secure and to mop up.
Today, Friday, the inversion will break around 10 a.m. when fire behavior may begin to increase. Relative humidity is expected to be in the teens, and winds will generally be light except on ridges where they could be from the east-southeast with gusts to 20 mph. This major shift in the wind direction could test some constructed firelines in a way they have not been in recent days. Exceptionally dry fuel conditions exist in the fire area.
In a live briefing Thursday night Sept. 3 East Side Incident Commander Rocky Oplinger complimented the agencies for the fuel treatments that have been accomplished over the years. He said the 150-foot flame lengths dropped to about 15-feet when the fire entered the treated areas. This allowed hand crews and engines to take an aggressive approach to suppress the fire and prevent structure loss. The video of the briefing is on Facebook; Mr. Oplinger’s comments about the fuel treatments begin at 34:10.
The number of residences destroyed, 661, is an increase of 39 since Thursday; 196 other structures have also burned. Fire officials are maintaining a map that shows structures which have been evaluated for damage.
3:52 p.m. PDT Sept. 2, 20212
The movement of the Caldor Fire has slowed in recent days as the wind decreased and as portions of the fire moved into high elevations or areas where there is more granite than vegetation.
On the northeast side of the fire east of Highway 89 dozers have been building line on the north side, the flank closest to South Lake Tahoe. Night Operations Section Chief Craig Dougherty said Thursday morning a large portion of that flank now has fireline. On Wednesday and Wednesday night four structure protection groups were working in that area mopping up and securing the edge of the fire.
The south side of that large finger of fire is active with a backing fire
The fire is still about the same distance from the shore of Lake Tahoe, about 4 miles, and it is 3 miles from the Nevada state line. The head, or the far northeast area, has spread uphill above 9,000 feet, where the sub-alpine vegetation should act to slow the movement, but spotting at times keeps it moving.
Fire officials are maintaining a map that shows structures which have been evaluated for damage. To date, crews have confirmed that 622 residences and 189 other structures have been destroyed.
Wednesday evening 4,451 personnel were committed to the fire which was mapped Wednesday night at 210,000 acres.