UC Davis firefighters have joined the massive effort to stop the Caldor Fire’s eastward advance near Lake Tahoe.
The crew took off for Tahoe on Tuesday (Aug. 31), just a couple of days after another campus crew returned from the McFarland Fire.
Fire Chief Nate Trauernicht said the fresh crew has been assigned to Christmas Valley, a residential area between Highway 50 and State Route 89 south of the lake. Homes there remain threatened even after the fire mostly skipped over the valley Sunday night, going east and then north toward South Lake Tahoe.
A red flag warning is in effect today throughout the fire zone because of gusty winds and low humidity, according to the National Weather Service.
The Caldor Fire had burned more than 204,000 acres and was 20% contained as of this morning, according to the U.S. Forest Service.
Gov. Gavin Newsom this week expanded the area under a state of emergency due to the fire and praised the efforts of first responders.
“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,” he said in a statement.
The UC Davis crew assigned to the Caldor Fire comprises Capt. Paul Rush, engineer Erich Schultz and firefighters Meggie Elledge and Avery White.
Crew returns after 2 weeks away
The Caldor crew switched places in Brush Truck 34 with Capt. Kyle Dubs, engineer Corrie Stone and firefighters Mike Cullen and Cara Martinez, who returned Saturday (Aug. 28) from the McFarland Fire near Red Bluff.
In between one crew's return and another crew's departure, Brush Truck 34 went into the Unitrans shop Monday for routine maintenance and minor repairs to its foam system, an exhaust tip and exterior lights.
Separately, fire engineer Derek Carthy continues to serve as a fireline EMT on the River Fire near Yreka, which he has been doing since Aug. 23.
The Caldor Fire is the UC Davis Fire Deparment’s eighth deployment of the year, Trauernicht said.
Cody Kitaura is a News and Media Relations Specialist in the Office of Strategic Communications, and can be reached by email or at 530-752-1932.