The Caldor fire is burning in Northern California exploded overnight and now burns more than 53,700 acres, firefighters said Wednesday. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration tweeted a satellite video of the fire showing the fire’s “explosive growth” east of Sacramento.
The flame, which is zero percent contained, has tripled in size over the past 24 hours and is threatening more than 5,800 homes, officials said. Two people were injured by the fire and taken to hospitals for treatment, they said. Thousands of residents have been evacuated from their homes.
Fire officials said the combination of dry fuel, hot temperatures and strong winds caused “unprecedented” fire conditions, causing the fire to grow more than 47,200 acres in 24 hours. The cause of the fire is under investigation.
On Tuesday, California Governor Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency for El Dorado County as the fire’s growth continues to threaten power lines, communications and state infrastructure. Newsom blamed intense climate change for wildfire eruptions that California and other Western states are battling this season.
Dixie Fire, the largest brand in the country and second largest in state history, has burned more than 635,700 Acres and is only 33% contained, according to. CalFire.
Several communities along the wildfire path have been forced to evacuate, including Grizzly Flat, Perry Creek and Hawk Haven. Officials warned residents to keep an eye on fire movements and be ready to evacuate with a moment’s notice.
“Gas in the car. A bag to use. You need to make sure you have an escape route — all the little things that you take for granted,” Brian Estes of CalFire told CBS Sacramento Tuesday.
The Red Cross has opened an evacuation room at Green Valley Community Church in the town of Placerville. All hotels in the surrounding area are booked according to CBS Sacramento. Another shelter in the Cameron Park Community Services District is taking displaced residents.
Tom Hawley, a resident of El Dorado County, said he evacuated his home as soon as he was warned while other residents stayed. “I saw people sitting in their houses watching TV, like it was just another night,” Hawley told CBS Sacramento. “It was like I did not want to hang out – I got the message. I’m out of here.”
Joe Wilde, another El Dorado resident, has been camping in his car for five days with his wife, sons, cat, five dogs and a bearded dragon. The family is still waiting for answers about their home. “You take what you can,” Wilde said. “The rest, the boys are here. Everything that lives is with us. There is insurance.”
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