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Crews work to contain California wildfires, reach 37 percent on Caldor Fire

Firefighters are continuing to make progress fighting wildfires across the state, with the Caldor Fire reaching 37 percent containment, increased containment of other fires and full containment of two fires, Cal Fire officials said Saturday morning.

Additionally, firefighters responded to 26 new initial attack wildfires Friday, all of which were quickly extinguished, according to Cal Fire.

The Caldor Fire was 37 percent contained as of Saturday morning, with 214,107 acres burned so far in El Dorado and Amador counties, according to Cal Fire. Humidity levels rose and temperatures cooled over the past few days to firefighters’ advantage.

Evacuation orders and warnings are still in place for the Caldor Fire and some new evacuation orders have been issued. Nearly 32,000 structures are threatened and 892 structures have been destroyed.

The fire is the 15th largest and 20th most destructive in California history, Cal Fire said. Damage inspection is ongoing and a repopulation plan has been implemented.

Highways 50, 88 and 89 remain closed, Cal Fire said.

Smoke and ash from wildfires including the Caldor Fire is clouding Lake Tahoe’s water, according to researchers who say ash and soot are now coating the High Sierra lake’s surface and veiling the sun.

Courtesy of Cal Fire Cal Fire responds to several large incidents across California into September 2021. (Photo courtesy of Cal Fire)

The Dixie Fire was 55 percent contained as of Saturday morning, with 885,954 acres burned, over 6,500 structures threatened and 1,282 destroyed, Cal Fire said. The fire is burning in Butte, Plumas, Lassen, Tehama and Shasta counties and is the second-largest and 14th most destructive in the state’s history.

The French Fire in Kern County was 43 percent contained as of Saturday morning, with 25,895 acres burned. Evacuation orders and warnings remain in place for this fire burning west of Lake Isabella in Kern County.

The Airola Fire in Calaveras County west of Columbia is now 100 percent contained after burning 639 acres, Cal Fire said Saturday.

A wildfire that burned 44 acres in Marin County in the area of Lucas Valley and Marinwood is also now 100 percent contained.

In the northern part of the state, warmer and very dry weather is expected through Monday, with high temperatures warming to around 10 degrees above normal, according to Cal Fire.

While winds will remain lighter than normal through Monday, the relative humidity will remain low and will drop further over the next several days, Cal Fire said.

Fire weather concerns will increase on Tuesday, according to Cal Fire, as an approaching upper-level trough begins breaking down the upper-level ridge.

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