California and Nevada governors announced states of emergency on Wednesday as the Caldor Fire continued to spread rapidly.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency for Alpine, Amador and Placer counties as the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection reported that the Caldor Fire had grown to 191,607 acres burning near the South Lake Tahoe area.
“It is imperative that residents in the impacted areas stay safe and prepare to evacuate immediately if called for by local authorities,” Newsom said in a statement. “We thank all the heroic firefighters and first responders working around the clock to combat this rapidly spreading fire and to protect local communities across California this fire season.”
Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak also declared a state of emergency in anticipation of the blaze crossing the border between the two states in the coming days.
“On behalf of Nevada, I would like to thank all of our brave first responders, local government agencies and nonprofit entities who continue to go above and beyond to assist our communities during the Caldor Fire,” Sisolak said. “We will continue to use all our available resources to fight this fire and assist those in need.”
On Monday, mandatory evacuations were announced for South Lake Tahoe, forcing the town’s 20,000 residents to flee.
Cal Fire said that the Caldor Fire had grown approximately 20,000 acres since Monday and was just 16 percent contained as of Tuesday.
“Due to poor humidity recovery, overnight fire activity continued vigourous over the northeastern and eastern parts of the fire,” Cal Fire wrote in an update. “Crown fire runs and ember casting continued to cover distances of up to three-quarters of a mile.”
The fire has resulted in five injuries, the destruction of 669 structures, and the damaging of 40 more.
The emergency designations issued on Wednesday will help free up resources to fight the raging fire.
A total of 3,904 personnel have been deployed to put out the fire including 415 fire engines, 92 dozers, 74 water tenders and 25 helicopters.