Caldor Fire – 9/9/2021

9/9/2021 at 7am

Here is a video briefing focusing on Echo Lake and area between Strawberry and Kirkwood — the two remaining areas of the fire with the most heat.

Below is an assessment of the situation from our correspondent ‘Tumbleweed’ a retired wildland fire captain.

IR from 22:33 (10:33pm) on September 8. Isolated heat has been removed for clarity on some pics. Clear areas do not indicate no heat. There are many reasons for heat not showing on IR runs and only eyes on the ground can determine when it is safe to enter an area.

Faint white line indicates previous fire perimeter

*** Note *** Today we start a pattern of possible thunderstorms in this area, both wet and dry. Thunderstorms can bring very erratic and strong winds. A good chance some of the lines will be tested today and tomorrow. Any uncontrolled edges can have explosive growth. Keep your head on a swivel!

Still some heat over Highway 50 and near Wrights lake. They are bringing handline up into the granite. Not expecting much to happen here, except a lot of firefighter grunt work. There are just not many areas for it to grow as granite doesn’t burn, but interestingly enough it does melt at 2300° F. This will be the last shot of this area unless something changes.


They have handline down by the lakes in the Echo Lake basin and are letting the fire slowly creep down to it. Hopefully this is doing beneficial work by cleaning up the forest floor and not damaging the trees. Crews are all around this area preventing damage to cabins.

The blue line indicates the controlled fire line edge (“blackline”). I tried black but it was difficult to see in some places. Not much to say; it’s mop up time.

This is the pocket between the two eastern fingers. Yesterday, we saw a larger smoke column than in recent days. Looks like that finger of unburned fuel in the upper area didn’t last long. We also see some additional spread west.

Looking over the lower eastern finger. Some additional spread to the north. Interesting to see the fires stopping close to the edge of the 2019 Caples burn (blue area). Reduced fuel load assists with containment.