Partial Reopening: Caldor Fire Closure Replaces Forest Wide Closure and Fire Restrictions Increase

Placerville, CA….While the Caldor Fire continues to burn, the emergency forest wide closure that went into effect August 17, 2021 for the Eldorado National Forest will be terminated and replaced with a smaller Caldor Fire Closure, beginning Thursday, September 30, 2021. The Caldor Fire Closure, Forest Order 03-21-18 will be in effect until March 31, 2022, but could be lifted sooner or modified if conditions warrant.

Due to the continued level of fire risk, the areas of the forest outside the Caldor Fire Closure will be open for day use only. Beginning September 30, overnight camping will be temporarily prohibited under Forest Order 03-21-17 and a full fire ban will be in effect under Forest Order 03-21-16. These restrictions mean that all kinds of open flame are prohibited in the forest, including wood, charcoal and gas fires.
“The Caldor Fire threat is not over yet,” said Eldorado National Forest Supervisor Jeff Marsolais. “I know people have been waiting a long time to get back into the forest, but safety is the highest priority as we begin to reopen. We are still engaged in fire suppression and there are many hazards in the burned area.”
The Caldor Fire was reported on August 14, 2021, and is currently 221,774 acres, 76% contained with active burning and potential for spotting. Wind events causing large fire runs are common in October. Other dangers in the fire area include fire weakened hazard trees, heavy fuels that continue to smolder, stump holes, loose rock and debris on steep slopes, and hazmat from burned structures.
A description of the closure boundary, a list of closed roads and trails, and a map of the Caldor Fire Closure are included as Exhibit A, B, and C in the Forest Order. Note, that Mormon Emigrant Trail (aka Iron Mountain Road), Silver Fork Road, and Wrights Lake Road are popular roads within the Caldor Fire Closure that will remain closed. Portions of Desolation and Mokelumne Wilderness areas will also remain closed which includes part of the Pacific Crest Trail. Please plan your visit accordingly.
The following persons are exempt from the Caldor Fire Closure on the Eldorado National Forest:
1.     Any Federal, State, or local officer, or member of an organized rescue or fire fighting force in the performance of an official duty.
2.     Persons with Forest Service Permit No. FS-7700-48 (Permit for Use of Roads, Trails, or Areas Restricted by Regulation or Order), specifically exempting them from this Order.
3.     Persons with Federal Energy Regulatory Commission license or Forest Service special use authorization for an electric transmission line, an oil or gas pipeline, or communications site may access their permit areas to conduct administrative and emergency functions to property and related assets.
4.     Commercial recreation special-use permit holders and their customers are not exempt from this Order. However, commercial recreational special-use permit holders, under the terms and conditions of their permit, may access their permit areas to conduct administrative functions and to protect property and related assets. Recreation residence permit holder are not exempt from this order.
5.     Persons with a Forest Service non-special use written authorization to conduct nonrecreational activities, such as harvesting timber, forest products or grazing livestock.
6.     Owners or lessees of land and residents of such private landholdings, to the extent to access their land.
The adjacent Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit also has a separate Caldor Fire closure on the eastern side of the fire as well as a backcountry closure order. There are also still evacuation orders and warnings on the Eldorado National Forest and Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit both inside and outside the Caldor fire closure areas. For links to closure and evacuation information as well as current fire information, visit the Caldor Fire Inciweb page at .
Visitor information specialists are also available by phone from 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM, Monday through Friday:
  • Forest Supervisors’ Office – 530-303-2412
  • Georgetown Ranger District – 530-334-6477
  • Pacific / Placerville Ranger District – 916-500-4712
  • Amador Ranger District – 209-259-3774
The U.S.D.A Forest Service is an equal opportunity employer. The mission of the Forest Service is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations.