Caldor Fire grew in size overnight, forcing immediate evacuations

The Caldor Fire in El Dorado County exploded in size overnight, forcing the nearby communities to evacuate immediately. 

The fire began Saturday at midnight and burned at least 6,500 acres as of Tuesday, according to CalFire. It was also at 0% containment. 

A mandatory evacuation order was issued for communities in the areas of Barney Ridge east of Omo Ranch community, Leoni Meadows, Pi’Pi Valley, Dogtown Creek, Caldor area east of Omo Ranch, and the Pi’Pi area to NS Road. The area is about 40 miles southwest of Lake Tahoe. 

While the fire team observed structures loss, the actual number of damaged structures has not been identified as the fire conditions are not yet safe to bring in damage assessment teams, said CalFire. 

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More than 200 personnel has been deployed to contain the fire, Cal Fire said. 

The crews are having difficulty with containment because it has been too smoky for firefighting aircraft to fly over the area, and the ground crews are dealing with steep and rocky hills. 

A heavy layer of smoke clouds could be observed from South Lake Tahoe, about 70 miles away from the fire. 

"Holy smokes! South Shore Lake Tahoe this morning as a monster smoke cloud invades! Incredible and a tad scary," tweeted KTVU's Frank Mallicoat. 

More evacuation orders are expected to be issued, said CalFire.