California elementary school destroyed by Caldor fire



The Caldor fire consumed an elementary school in El Dorado County on Tuesday afternoon, as firefighters struggled to contain the flames.

Walt Tyler Elementary School, which is home to a small number of transitional Kindergarten to Grade 3 students, burned down at Grizzly Flats. According to the Pioneer Union School District, Tuesday night, the campus was scheduled to start school.

All that remains of the school is the charred playground.

Residents in parts of the foothills were evacuated Monday and Tuesday as the Caldor fire spread. The state emergency services office said more than 2,500 residents of El Dorado County were evacuated, including parts of Pollock Pines, near the Sly Park Educational Center campgrounds.

The Sly Park Environmental Education Center, where students in the Sacramento area attend week-long outdoor science camps, has been closed due to COVID-19 restrictions. As of Tuesday, all staff at Sly Park had been evacuated, according to the Sacramento Office of Education.

Cal Fire and US Forest Service officials confirmed the structures were destroyed, but said it was still too dangerous for a full damage assessment. Sacramento Bee reporters at the scene confirmed that several homes were destroyed at Grizzly Flats, along with its post office.

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Sawsan Morrar covers responsibility and school culture for The Sacramento Bee. She grew up in Sacramento and is an alumnus of UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. Previously, she was a freelance writer for various publications including The Washington Post, Vice, KQED and Capital Public Radio.



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