3:45 p.m. Crews battling the huge "King Fire" in Placer and El Dorado Counties are bracing for hotter temperatures and erratic winds.
Fire officials say cooler, wet weather that helped firefighters over the weekend is expected to give way today to a weather pattern that could increase activity in the roughly 88-thousand acre fire..
Ken Simosko is with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA. He told firefighters at the morning briefing to prepare for the change.
"We will start to see th eincrease in winds this morning, expect the down canyon wind to switch out to the southwest and west at least and the slope and belly level," says Simosko. "By the time you get to the ridgetops, we're looking at southwest winds 8-15 miles per hour."
Simokso says tomorrow and Wednesday the winds will likely pick up more.
"High pressure's going to dominate the next couple of days. That means warmer temperatures, drier air and an increase in wind."
Mark Olivarria is a Cal Fire Operations Manager. He told firefighters during the morning briefing the west side of the fire line must be strengthened.
"This is going to be my first priority for aircraft down here today -the treatment of the line going down into Slab Reservoir and then support with helicopters."
Cal Fire says back fires lit last night went as planned. The agency planned to set back fires on the eastern flank of the fire as well today.
The fire has burned more than 87-thousand acres since it began nine days ago.
At least ten homes and 22 other buildings have been destroyed.
A local man has been arrested and charged with arson.
The fire is 17 percent contained and has destroyed 10 homes. There are still nearly 300 people evacuated.
More on Monday's Insight.
-Capital Public Radio Staff
7 A.M. Capital Public Radio's Bob Moffitt reported live from the fire's South Command Center in Placerville.
Moffitt said crews are anticipating increased fire activity as the weather changes and winds shift Monday.
"Overnight rains help to quash some of the fires, they’re hopeful they can increase their containment lines this evening," he said.
Moffitt said one of Cal Fire's priority is to strenghten southwest fire lines and prepare lines east of Volcanoville.
The #KingFire has grown to 87,592 acres & 18% contained. Over 5,500 firefighters battling the fire. Increased moisture & rain has helped.— CAL FIRE PIO Berlant (@CALFIRE_PIO) September 22, 2014
-Bob Moffitt / Capital Public Radio
Cooler weather and higher humidity levels have helped crews make progress against the King Fire burning in Placer and El Dorado Counties, but the fire continues to grow.
The fire charred 87,592 acres and more than 5,500 firefighters are working to put it out.Over the weekend, the US Forest Service confirmed that ten homes and 22 outbuildings were destroyed by the fire in the Pollock Pines area.
Roughly 2,800 people remain evacuated. There are two community meetings scheduled for Monday night:
- On Monday, September 22, 2014, at 7:00 p.m. there will be two community meetings. One will be located at Golden Sierra High School, 5101 Garden Valley Road in Garden Valley. The second location will be at the Camino Seventh-Day Adventist Church at 3520 Carson Road in Camino.
A dense smoke advisory is in effect for the central Sierra and in the Reno area due to the King Fire. Several schools in Colfax and Foresthill have closed today due to the smoke.
-Capital Public Radio Staff
Latest Evacuation Information from the El Dorado Sheriff's Office:
@CountyElDorado @CHPPlacerville @CAL_FIRE @R5_Fire_News
Mosquito Road @ Volz Lane
Rock Creek Road @ Highway 193
Wentworth Springs Road @ Chiquita Bypass
Wentworth Springs Road @ Sand Mountain Road
Ice House Road @ Highway 50
Wrights Lake Road @ Highway 50
Forebay Road @ Blair Road (Residents Only)
Cable Road @ Badger Hill Road