Fueled by high winds and dry conditions, the Northern California Caldor Fire that began on Monday, but whose origins remain unknown, has grown 47,200 acres in just 24 hours destroying dozens of homes and prompting evacuation of more than 30.000 people , The Wall Street Journal reports.
California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) officials are warning that weather conditions are creating a perfect combination for unprecedented fire behavior and for it to spread further pushed by the south west winds.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration posted a satellite video showing the quick growth of the fire, which exploded in size southwest of Lake Tahoe and ravaged Grizzly Flats, and has injured at least two people so far.
Cal Fire officials said in their latest update that the red flag warning , issued by the National Weather Service for weather events which may result in extreme fire behavior that will occur within 24 hours, has been extended through tomorrow.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom has declared a state of emergency in El Dorado County in response to the growing flames that have destroyed property, including dozens of homes, an elementary school, a post office and number of other buildings.
Wednesday’s update from state emergency services says thousands have already been evacuated with the latest evacuation orders issued for number of areas like Grizzly Flat, Perry Creek and Hawk Haven.
The blaze prompted officials to impose emergency closure of the El Dorado National Forest through the end of September while numerous post on social media show the destruction the fire has left and the conditions in highly affected areas, such as Mormon Emigrant Trail.
Meanwhile, the monstrous Dixie Fire about 100 miles to the north, claimed the title of second-largest wildfire after consuming 635,728 acres and destroying countless structural buildings. The colossal blaze initiated on July 13 likely by a spark from Pacific Gas & Electric equipment, was mostly contained but weather conditions ultimately allowed the fire to expand advancing on Wednesday on the town of Susanville, home to 18,000 residents and 6,000 prisoners of the two area prisons.
The Caldor and Dixie fires are only two of a dozen colossal wildfires in Northern California fanned by the powerful and dry Diablo Wind, driven by dry, sinking air blasting its way down the western slopes of the Sierra Nevada Mountains that can reach hurricane-like speeds.
Though PG&E began restoring electricity to more than 40,000 customers already left with no power after forecasts were expected to improve Thursday, the utility has nevertheless begun pre-emptive shutting of electricity on many power lines thought to be in danger, leaving more than 50,000 customers out of power.