Caldor Fire Map, Update As California Blaze Rapidly Grows While Zero Percent Contained

The Caldor Fire in California has grown to more than 60,000 acres while being zero percent contained, amid several wildfires burning in the state and across the West Coast.

In an update issued on Wednesday evening, Cal Fire confirmed that the Caldor Fire, which began burning in California on August 14, has so far destroyed 62,586 acres while being zero percent contained as it spread close to Lake Tahoe.

The fire, which is burning through parts of the El Dorado National Forest, grew dramatically in size overnight on Tuesday as it was reported at having burned just 6,500 acres on Tuesday morning, before the acreage destroyed was updated to 53,772 just 24 hours later.

In response to the growth of the blaze, Forest Supervisor Jeff Marsolais issued an "emergency forest closure of all National Forest System lands, roads, and trails within the Eldorado National Forest" on Wednesday.

Evacuation warnings were also issued for several areas in El Dorado County, while at least two people were injured as several buildings were burned by the blaze in the small town of Grizzly Flats, including an elementary school and church, according to SFGate.

Cal Fire has assigned 11 crews comprising of 601 personnel to help tackle the blaze, while 61 fire engines, 20 dozers and 10 water tenders are at the site of the large wildfire.

After growing to more than 97 square miles, the Caldor Fire is now around 30 square miles bigger than Washington, D.C.

At least 104 large wildfires that have destroyed 2.4 million acres are currently burning in the U.S. across 12 states after a heatwave and drought in early July caused blazes to break out across the West Coast, according to the National Interagency Fire Center.

Officials have stressed that the devastating effects of the wildfires in the past few years have been exacerbated by the effects of climate change, which is likely to worsen in the future.

This message was echoed by California Governor Gavin Newsom earlier in August during a visit to the mountain town of Greenville, which saw several homes burned to the ground by the Dixie Fire, the largest blaze currently burning across the U.S.

Caldor Fire map
A map of the Caldor Fire in California provided by Arcgis on August 19, 2021. Arcgis

The Dixie Fire is now the second largest wildfire in California's history with 662,647 acres burned at 35 percent contained, just behind the August Complex blaze that burned more than 1 million acres in 2020, according to data shared by Cal Fire.

At least 1,217 buildings and structures have been destroyed by the fire, while 96 have so far been damaged by the blaze which began burning in the state on July 14.

Montana and Idaho have recorded fewer acres burned than California, but are the worst affected states in terms of the number of blazes. There are 27 active fires in Montana and 23 in Idaho.

Across the United States, more acres have burned in 2021 compared to this point in 2020 and 2019. There were 40,848 fires affecting 4,296,943 acres recorded from January 1 to August 18, 2021, according to the National Interagency Fire Center.

That compares to 37,098 fires and 2,623,190 acres for the same period in 2020, and 30,531 fires and 3,735,833 acres in 2019.

Caldor Fire destruction
Chairs from the Grizzly Flats Community Church are still standing after the church was completely destroyed on August 18, 2021 in Grizzly Flats, California. The Caldor Fire in California has grown to more than 60,000 acres while being zero percent contained, amid several wildfires burning in the state and across the U.S. West Coast. Allison Dinner/Getty Images