New images captured the devastation left behind by the Cache Fire in Northern California while the fast spreading Caldor Fire wildfire grew 24 times in size in just two days.
Aerial shots of Clearlake, just north of San Francisco, show the full extent of the damage the Cache Fire has caused.
The wildfire has burned through about 80 acres and is 20 percent contained as of Thursday, Cal Fire officials said.
About 50 homes in Clearlake have been burned to the ground and 1,600 people were forced to be evacuated at the height of the fire, and about 800 people were put on evacuation standby, NBCBayArea.com reported.
Aerial images of Clearlake show burned mobile homes in the Creekside Mobile Home Park a day after being destroyed by the Cache Fire
Burnt cars and homes are all that remain in a section of Clearlake devastated by the Cache Fire which has charred over 80 acres
An aerial shot shows pink fire retardant sprayed by fire officials to save a home in Clearlake as the Cache Fire remains only 20 percent contained as of Thursday
Properties were turned to ashes in Clearlake after the Cache Fire burned through 80 acres as of Thursday and is 20 percent contained
The high offshore winds that fanned flames Wednesday near the town of Clearlake calmed Thursday, and crews continued to prevent spread, SFGATE.com reported.
‘We’ve got some winds going up and down … they’re making everyone a little nervous,’ Lake County Fire Protection District board chairperson Jacqueline Snyder told SFGATE.
Snyder said that damage assessments are underway in burn areas, but that the number of structures destroyed is estimated in the dozens.
Meanwhile the Caldor Fire, which started on Saturday a few miles south of El Dorado County and has quickly spread, has burned through over 65,000 acres since Thursday and forced over 16,000 residents to evacuate as firefighters struggle to slow the the fire which has zero containment so far.
As with many wildfires in the west, the Caldor Fire has been fueled by wind and dry conditions and has burned through dry vegetation in the area, Cal Fire officials said.
‘The unfortunate thing is that these fires continue to get bigger,’ Cal Fire Director Thom Porter said Wednesday. ‘But we’re surging resources into communities to protect and reduce the impact.’
As of Tuesday, Cal Fire said the Caldor Fire has destroyed nearly 86 structures and nearly 7,000 structures remain threatened.
KCRA reported that a debris pile and playground equipment were all that remained at Walt Tyler Elementary School in Grizzly Flats and that a reporter for the station said she witnessed a post office that was destroyed.
‘We know this fire has done things that nobody could have predicted, but that’s how firefighting has been in the state this year,’ Eldorado National Forest Supervisor Chief Jeff Marsolais told KCRA.
By Wednesday, fire fighters had to evacuate 16,380 people in El Dorado County, according to the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services.
‘Getting people out of the way of these fires is the best way for us to be able to protect your communities. We need you to evacuate,’ Porter told residents. ‘Please heed the warnings.’
Darby Flynn was one of the evacuees and told KCRA she’s ‘glad to be able to evacuate and not be caught in the fire.’
‘I just kind of grabbed some things and some important artwork that my mom painted for me and something my aunt made for me and that was pretty much it,’ she said. ‘Otherwise, I just try to remember that things are things and most of them you can replace.’
Firefighter Jesse Viescas (pictured) searches through a residence at Cache Creek Mobile Home Estates where the Cache Fire leveled dozens of homes
Scorched homes and cars line Cache Creek Mobile Home Estates where the Cache Fire leveled dozens of homes on Wednesday
Sheriff’s Deputy McCabe (pictured) searches Cache Creek Mobile Home Estates left destroyed by the Cache Fire
Detective Steve Hobb searches for possible victims at Cache Creek Mobile Home Estate after the Cache Fire destroyed nearly all the structures in the area
According to Cal Fire, two people had to be airlifted to hospitals after being seriously injured in the area.
One of the victims approached firefighters, who tried conducting first aid before the person was taken to a hospital, while the other suffered ‘severe’ injuries, CNN reported.
In California alone, 900,000 acres have burned this year. The Dixie Fire, the largest in the state and the country, has scorched 600,000 acres in just over a month.
Dixie is the largest of nearly 100 major wildfires burning across more than a dozen Western states.
Close to 6,000 personnel have been assigned to fight off the devastating fire.
Dixie might have originated when a tree fell on one of the power lines of the Pacific Gas & Electric Company on July 13.
On July 22, Dixie merged with the Fly Fire, while firefighters battled inclement weather conditions. Four firefighters were hurt when they were struck by a fallen branch.