FRESNO COUNTY, Calif. (KGPE) – It’s all hands on deck in Northern California as the Caldor Fire continues to rip through the Lake Tahoe region.
The Fresno Fire Department sent 4 more crew members on Tuesday to switch places with firefighters that have been there for two weeks.
Firefighters that have returned from the Caldor Fire describe it as something they’ve never seen before, with unprecedented fire behavior.
As of Tuesday evening, the Caldor Fire has consumed more than 191,000 acres, destroyed 669 structures, and threatens 33,000 others.
“A fire captain that returned recently said he was blown away by the fire behavior, just what the fire was doing. Watching the fire run downhill, which is not normal behavior, at a pace that was unbelievable to watch. Like a blow torch going downhill was how he described it,” said Shane Brown from Fresno Fire.
The Caldor Fire is only 16% contained, with evacuation orders covering nearly all of the Lake Tahoe Basin, including South Lake Tahoe.
There are currently 415 engines from all over the state stationed at the fire, five of which come from CAL Fire Fresno, which has canceled all days off for their firefighters back home in the valley.
“It’s for the greater good of the state. As long as the need is present, they’re going to be assigned,” said Dan Urias from CAL Fire Fresno.
As crews work to contain the Caldor Fire and continue to fight the Dixie Fire, Brown worries these large-scale fires might be becoming the new normal.
“In the past, these large-scale fires at this level were unusual events, and it seems like now, it’s usual. I think this fire season is going to go for another month or two at least,” he said.