Officials warn against complacency, ask firefighters to stay engaged on Caldor

Firefighters get briefed at Heavenly Mountain Resort’s California Lodge. (<a href="; id="link-6bd49e7fa977cf3ea93a5519e9d7f6c3" target="_self">Provided / Cal Fire</a>)

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — Fire officials are cautiously optimistic Friday morning and South Tahoe residents can breathe a little easier as the Caldor Fire has been steered through and around communities without losing a single structure so far.

Officials during the Friday morning briefing said firefighters need to stay engaged and battle complacency and watch for hot spots, especially in Christmas Valley and along U.S. Highway 50 in the Lake Tahoe Basin.

“The Highway 50 corridor is a big deal,” a Cal Fire official said. “It goes down to the river and it’s about 1,000 feet to the highway. We have a big piece of land that has dry grass and fuels.

We’ve seen this fire for 20 days throw embers and cause spot fires. There is a very high probability that if we get an ember into a tree it’s going to catch.”

Another Cal Fire official, Eric Schwab, added that any spark across US 50 could be a large concern.

“I still have concerns about the US 50 corridor, please be diligent in there,” he told firefighters.

Weather conditions worked in favor of firefighters on Thursday and the 20-day-old blaze grew minimally, by about 1,000 acres during the day and 1,000 acres overnight.

The rate of growth has declined for the fourth consecutive day and the last time it grew such a small amount was 14 days ago.

The fire is at 212,907 and is 29% contained as of Friday morning.

Much lighter winds across the fire are expected possibly into Sunday as a high pressure system moves into the area, said meteorologist Jim Dudley, and added that the fire creates its own wind.

The fire has not reached Heavenly Mountain Resort and is still approximately one mile away.

Officials said the fire is moving north towards Wright’s Lake and approximately 100 cabins there, but said there is no imminent danger and that structure defense teams are ready in the area.

Officials said the fire “skirted the Kirkwood bowl” as air support dumped loads of retardant and added there was minimal growth there.

Correction: This story has been updated to reflect that the Caldor Fire has not made it to Heavenly Mountain Resort.

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