Tue, 21 Sep 2021

TAHOE CITY, California: California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection Chief Thomas Porter said his crews were able to keep massive flames caused by the Caldor Fire near the Lake Tahoe resort region away from populated areas.

During the same briefing, he stated, "We were able to herd these fires around and outside the main community corridors. Unfortunately, that has not happened in every case," as reported by Reuters.

These corridors include the city of South Lake Tahoe and nearby Meyers.

The flames destroyed some 1,000 structures, including 776 homes, with many being located in Grizzly Flats where the fire started.

Other fires in the state include the Dixie Fire farther north in the Sierra Nevada, the second-largest in California's history, which began in mid-July and is now 59 percent contained, but has destroyed more than 1,200 buildings, including 688 homes.

The perimeter of the Dixie Fire grew to 800 miles, said Tony Scardina, U.S. Forest Service Deputy Regional Forester for California, adding that this week's hot, dry and windy conditions across Northern California could spread existing fires and create new ones.

Porter noted that the fires have so far burned some 3,125 square miles this year, close to the 2020 record.

For the first time since 2012, all eight firefighting aircraft from the Air National Guard and the Air Force Reserve were called into service on Sunday, due to the intensity of the Caldor Fire, said Major General David Baldwin, California National Guard Head.

It has also been "one of the most impactful events that I think we have ever seen here," said Mike Blankenheim, Chief of the Amador-El Dorado Unit of Cal Fire, according to Reuters.

On Tuesday, more than 15,500 personnel were working to contain 14 active major wildfires in California.

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