Video footage, released on Thursday, gives a birds-eye from a plane as it scoops up 3,000 gallons of water in northern California. The water is then airlifted from a lake over the fire and emptied onto smoke pouring from a thick forest.
The National Fire Center (NIFC) reports that several planes, with varying water capacities, are used to fight wildfires. An aircraft either drops water or fire retardant, a mix of water and chemicals to slow a fire’s intensity.
More than 13,000 firefighters from California and neighboring states are currently on the ground to battle blazes.
Along with traditional methods, some unorthodox solutions to the Caldor Fire have been tried. Staff at ski resorts in Lake Tahoe repurposed snowmaking machines to douse buildings and vegetation in water. Fire crews also used ski lifts to quickly ascend the mountains and survey the burning.
The Caldor Fire erupted in mid-August and has burned through 219,267 acres southwest of South Lake Tahoe, a popular tourist resort. More than 53,000 people were evacuated from El Dorado, Alpine, and Amador counties.
Evacuation orders have been since downgraded, according to the state fire agency Cal Fire. as the Caldor Fire is now 71 per cent contained.
The fire left five people injured and destroyed more than 1,000 structures. It is one of 12 active wildfires in the state, NIFC reported, which have so far destroyed more than 1.85 million acres.
The US West has face an unprecedented fire season amid high temperatures and historic drought driven by the climate crisis.
Currently, 77 large fires and complexes have burned nearly 3.2m acres with active threats reported in California, Oregon, Montana, Idaho, Wyoming and Oklahoma.
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