Where it started, how it spread

Where it started, how it spread

The Caldor Fire, the third-biggest wildfire of California’s 2021 season, is believed to have been set by a father and son, according to the El Dorado County district attorney’s office.

The arrest of the pair was announced Dec. 8. An attorney for the men told the Sacramento Bee that his clients reported the fire but did not set it.

The fire began around 7 p.m. Aug. 14, a Saturday, along the Middle Fork of the Cosumnes River, near the community of Omo Ranch. The area of ignition is shown on the map above by the fire icon. The black line shows the approximate perimeter when the fire was contained at 221,835 acres (347 square miles) in El Dorado, Amador and Alpine counties.

In its first four days, it grew to more than 60,000 acres. On Aug. 30, it grew 20,000 acres in one day and reached Echo Summit, forcing the evacuation of South Lake Tahoe.

The map below shows the spread of the fire, with each of the 43 tones from thorough blue to red suggesting one day, ending Sept. 28. Click here for a complete-size version of that map.

At the bottom is the map showing buildings destroyed by fire (red icons) and damaged (orange, yellow and green icons). Black indicates no damage. The California Department of Fire and Forestry Protection says 1,003 structures were destroyed, the largest cluster of them in Grizzly Flats.

Click: See details

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