Firefighters make continued progress on Caldor Fire, as it reaches 50% containment

Additional evacuation orders were eased in the South Lake Tahoe area on Tuesday, as firefighters continued to make progress in the battle against the massive Caldor Fire.

More residents evacuated by the Caldor Fire are allowed to return to their homes on Tuesday, Sept. 7, 2021, as evacuation orders in parts of El Dorado County are downgraded to warnings. 

As of Tuesday evening, Cal Fire reported 50% containment for the wildfire that's been raging for more than three weeks in El Dorado and Amador counties, sending tens of thousands of people fleeing from their homes. 

By afternoon, some residents in El Dorado County received news that effective immediately, their evacuation order had been downgraded to a warning. The update affected all homes accessed from both sides of Pioneer Trail from the city limits starting at Al Tahoe Blvd and moving west stopping before Elks Club, Cal Fire said. 

Over the last few days, emergency officials have been allowing residents to repopulate areas no longer deemed immediately threatened.

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Over the past few days, evacuation orders triggered by the Caldor Fire in the South Lake Tahoe have eased, allowing residents to return to their homes. 

"We are optimistic that we will continue that trend because of the hard work our firefighters have done on the lines," Cal Fire Public Information Officer Marco Rodriguez told KTVU.

Rodriguez said that the weather conditions have been helping crews on those lines, though high temperatures in the region were still a major concern. 

"Last couple of days have been favorable with low winds," Rodriguez said. "We are in a heat warning until Thursday, so we are cautious because the fuels are dried up," he added.


While containment was growing, Rodriguez said there were still two areas that continued to pose a major threat: the Kirkwood and the Wrights Lake locations. 

So far, the fire has consumed 217,007 acres and destroyed almost 1,000 structures. Nine people have been injured.

GRIZZLY FLATS, CA - AUGUST 20: The Caldor Fire ripped through Grizzly Flats Monday night leaving very little standing in the small mountain community in the El Dorado National Forest in California on August 20, 2021. (Photo by Neal Waters/Anadolu Age

The Caldor Fire was among more than a dozen large, active fires in California, calling almost 14,000 firefighters to battle. 

The Dixie Fire, which erupted in mid-July in the northern Sierra Nevada was the second-largest wildfire in California's recorded history. It's charred 917,579 acres across five counties and three national parks and forests, according to Cal Fire.

The agency said that since the start of the year, more than 7,000 wildfires have consumed some 3,000 square miles.

The Associated Press contributed to this story, which was reported in Oakland, Calif.