Caples Fire is 100% contained.
Final Caples Fire News Release
Closures: The fire area will be closed to the public until spring due to the hazards of fire weakened and dead trees. Some of these trees will fall in upcoming winter storms which will reduce the risk to visitors when the trail reopens.
Trail Closure (forest order 03-19-12). For public safety the following trails will continue to be closed. The interior of the fire area still has pockets of smoldering fire and stump holes burning underground and is not safe for public use.
Background: The prescribed burn project began on September 30 as pile burning under favorable conditions following rain and snowstorms. The prescribed fire was within prescription and achieving the goals of the project of reducing fuels loading and create vegetation conditions that allow fires to burn with lower intensities and create defensible space. Once the red flag warning for the wind event was forecasted fire managers began building fire line and conducting firing operations to secure and strengthen the fire perimeter before the wind arrived. The containment lines held well through the wind event into Thursday morning when the winds changed direction pushing the fire farther to the south and west and increasing the fire activity. This activity increase took the project out of prescription as the project objectives were no longer being met. On October 10, the Caples fire was converted to a wildfire from a prescribed fire allowing managers to obtain additional resources not normally available to for a prescribed fire.
Caples Ecological Restoration Project: The Caples Ecological Restoration Project is restoring fire to the Caples Creek watershed where naturally occurring wildfires started by lighting have been suppressed since 1908. The project is intended to improve forest health, fire resiliency and increase public safety. Prescribed fire treatments reduce fuel loadings, maintain vegetation conditions that allow fires to burn with lower intensities and create defensible space. The goal of this project is to promote a healthy resilient forest by reintroducing fire to the landscape.
The Caples Ecological Restoration Project is a collaborative effort between the Eldorado National Forest, El Dorado Irrigation District and Sierra Nevada Conservancy to restore fire to the Caples Creek watershed where naturally occurring wildfires started by lighting have been suppressed since 1908. The project provides a strategic landscape-wide fuel treatment that will reduce fuel to pre-settlement conditions that will protect the chief water supply to El Dorado County, improve wildlife habitat and create defensible space to nearby communities.