What began as a prescribed burn in the Caples Lake area is now officially being deemed a wildfire by the U.S. Forest Service.
As of Tuesday, October 15, the Caples Fire was sitting at 2,949 acres and 53 percent contained. Crews continued to work diligently through the week to get the burn under full containment and maintain the fire has remained with the prescribed burn area.
The fire began Monday, September 30 as a prescribed burn to reduce fuels and create vegetation conditions that allow fires to burn at lower intensities. After a red flag warning was forecasted, officials began bolstering fire lines and started fuel reduction efforts around the edge of the fire before the wind started.
The containment lines held in spite of the wind into the morning of Thursday, October 10, when the winds changed direction. The change in direction pushed the fire farther to the south and west, taking the project out of prescribed parameters and converting it officially to a wildfire. That designation allowed managers to obtain additional resources not normally available for a prescribed fire, such as dozers and engines from partners like CALFIRE.
The Caples Fire is now being managed for full suppression. Presently, there are 10 engines, 13 crews, three water tenders, three helicopters, two dozers and 400 personnel on the fire. Most of the burning has been along the ground, occasionally torching trees.
Some roads and trails remain closed in the area.
The Caples Fire information line is still operational for fire information only at (530) 303-2412 and smoke levels can be monitored at purpleair.com or airnow.gov. For more daily updates, follow the Eldorado National Forest on Facebook @eldoradonf.