Aug. 19 (UPI) — A fierce wildfire in Northern California has again exploded in size, officials say — from about 30,000 acres to more than 62,000.
The Caldor Fire in El Dorado County near Sacramento is so dangerous that it grew by 47,000 acres over a 24-hour period, authorities said.
Officials believe that dry vegetation, hot weather and strong winds created “unprecedented” conditions that allowed the blaze to spread rapidly.
In all, more than 62,500 acres have burned, according to Cal Fire. The blaze is still zero percent contained.
“The unfortunate thing is that these fires continue to get bigger,” Cal Fire Director Thomas Porter said, according to CNN. “But we’re surging resources into communities to protect and reduce the impact.”
The fire’s fast growth led an additional 10,000 residents to evacuate on Wednesday.
“Gas in the car. A to-go bag,” recommended Brian Estes of Cal Fire, according to CBS News. “You have to make sure you have an escape route — all those little things that you take for granted.”
Porter said evacuations save lives, reduce traffic and allow crews to respond more effectively.
“Please, heed the warning and when you’re asked to get out, get out,” he said, according to the Reno Gazette Journal. “We need you out of the way so we can protect your homes from these fires.”
The Caldor Fire is one of dozens burning across the Western United States and California’s second-largest, after the Dixie Fire.