PIONEER (Calif.) — The Caldor Fire in El Dorado County is focusing on the Tahoe Basin. It is also moving closer to neighboring Amador County.
Highway 88 was closed on Sunday just before Dew Drop Road. Just a few miles further up, you will find the Cooks Station Restaurant. It has been owned by the Brawley family since 1980.
According to the family, this is as close as a flame has been to their favorite restaurant.
Ron Brawley, the owner, is now in a race against time to cut down small trees and create defensible space to save his restaurant, two homes, and several vehicles.
Brawley stated that “We have done a lot over the years putting in fuel breaks, and Sierra Pacific has done an excellent job on the exterior of our property so we’re pretty confident.”
The family won’t take any chances. Cathy, the wife of Jeremy, and Jeremy, the son are helping to clear out debris from buildings.
“So we live off of the grid, here no power except from what we power, so right now I’m cleaning around the diesel tank in order to make a fire break,” stated Cathy Brawley.
Cooks Station is a landmark on Highway 88 that has been there since 1863, when it was part of the Carson Emigrant Trail. It’s located near El Dorado and Amador counties. It is more famous today as a landmark for skiers heading towards Kirkwood Ski Resort.
The Brawleys now have everything they need to get started. The Brawleys have a large trailer that can be hooked up to a pick-up truck of the same size ready to load in a flash.
Jeremy Brawley, the son of the author, said that it was all about creating a buffer right now.
The ground is what gets you going. It goes up to your tree. But, if you keep the ground clean it will just burn off any pine needles and you’re good to be,” Jeremy Brawley explained.
Ron Brawley is hopeful that they will not have to leave, even though they are ready to go if they need to.
“Right now, we don’t have plans to evacuate unless our plans are to evacuate right now.”