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California, Nevada declare states of emergency as Caldor Fire spreads

California and Nevada declared states of emergency amid concerns that the 191,607-acre Caldor Fire could potentially cross over the border between the two states. Photo by Peter DaSilva/UPI
1 of 5 | California and Nevada declared states of emergency amid concerns that the 191,607-acre Caldor Fire could potentially cross over the border between the two states. Photo by Peter DaSilva/UPI | License Photo

Aug. 31 (UPI) -- The governors of California and Nevada declared states of emergency on Wednesday as the Caldor Fire continued its rapid expansion.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency for Alpine, Amador and Placer counties as the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection reported that the Caldor Fire had grown to 191,607 acres burning near the South Lake Tahoe area.

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"It is imperative that residents in the impacted areas stay safe and prepare to evacuate immediately if called for by local authorities," Newsom said in a statement. "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."

Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak also declared a state of emergency in anticipation of the blaze crossing the border between the two states in the coming days.

"On behalf of Nevada, I would like to thank all of our brave first responders, local government agencies and nonprofit entities who continue to go above and beyond to assist our communities during the Caldor Fire," Sisolak said. "We will continue to use all our available resources to fight this fire and assist those in need."

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Mandatory evacuations were issued for South Lake Tahoe on Monday with the town's 20,000 residents forced to depart.

Cal Fire said the Caldor Fire grew nearly 20,000 acres from Monday and was 16% contained as of Tuesday.

"Overnight fire activity remained active throughout the northeastern and eastern areas of the fire due to poor humidity recovery," Cal Fire said in an update. "Crown fire runs and ember casting remained active covering distances of up to three quarters of a mile."

The blaze has resulted in five injuries, destroyed 669 structures and damaged 40 more.

Wednesday's emergency declarations will help to free up resources to combat the growing fire.

A total of 3,904 personnel have been deployed to put out the fire including 415 fire engines, 92 dozers, 74 water tenders and 25 helicopters.

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