At least ten homes and 22 other structures were consumed by flames as the massive King Fire east of Placerville (El Dorado County) grew to more than 82,000 acres and spewed smoke across the state early Sunday, California Department of Forestry and Fire officials said.
Shifting winds unexpectedly pushed the inferno’s massive plume east, which made the air around Lake Tahoe unhealthy to breath and forced the cancellation of Sunday’s anticipated Ironman Lake Tahoe triathlon.
The ever-spreading fire, which has raged uncontrolled for a week north of Pollock Pines, slowed over the weekend with scattered showers and higher humidity, and as temperatures dipped to the low 60s, giving some relief to the 5,236 firefighters battling the blaze, said Cal Fire spokeswoman Alyssa Smith.
Crews took a preliminary look at the damage around the White Meadows area east of Pollock Pines, but the complete number of homes destroyed was not immediately clear, Smith said. The fire remains only 10 percent contained and is one of six major wildfires scorching the state.
The inferno — allegedly started by an arsonist — continues to threaten another 21,000 structures and has forced 3,000 people form their homes. After igniting in the South Fork of the American River Canyon, the fire crossed into the Tahoe National Forest and threatened the 4,270-acre Blodgett Research Forest, where UC Berkeley researchers study fire management as well as wildlife, soil and air quality. Cal Fire officials surveying the area did not say whether the facility was destroyed Sunday.
From the San Francisco Gate: http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/10-homes-destroyed-as-King-Fire-grows-to-82-000-5770863.php