(InEDC) BY Maricela De La Cruz, KCRA Published: 7:37 PM PDT Aug 14, 2023
PLACERVILLE, Calif. — It’s been two years since the Caldor Fire, which tore through the Foothills and Sierra, and prompted a historic evacuation of South Lake Tahoe, started. What would come next was a grueling 68 days for those who were evacuated and everyone who lost their homes and properties to the flames.
In all, 222,835 acres of land were scorched, damaging 81 structures and destroying 1,005 through Alpine, Amador, and El Dorado counties.
Among the structures that were threatened was Sierra Vista Vineyards & Winery in Placerville, which remained closed for two weeks due to smoke that blanketed their property and the flames that neared them.
Ryan Wright said he remembers the morning the wildfire started. Thinking rain was heading their way, he walked outside his home and realized it was smoke and not clouds.
“It was burning for about a week before it got to its closest point from what I remember. We could see the flames every night from the top of the ridge, and we could watch the air tankers drop fire retardant on it and see it progressively coming closer to us, which made for pretty nerve-wracking days,” Wright said.
He also recalled that firefighters kept the Caldor Fire at bay from his property by using backburns, a strategy where crews burn any possible fuels themselves before a moving wildfire could spread that way.
Wright attributes that as the reason the wildfire did not spread onto his 61 acres and surrounding property.