South Lake Tahoe residents urged to leave in middle of night as Caldor Fire draws near


image– Updates: Get info on the Caldor Fire from the Eldorado National Forest .

– Information line: 530-303-2455

– Evacuations: Get the latest info from the U.S.Forest Service and from a map posted by the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office.

– Maps: Find from the Forest Service.This is Monday’s story from the Caldor Fire.To read the latest updates, click here .The Caldor Fire raced down highways 50 and 89 — main arteries for travel to and from the Tahoe Basin — as the wildfire continued to burn out-of-control Monday night.The flames burned cabins along the highways as residents of nearby Douglas County, Nevada were warned to evacuate.

“There is fire activity happening in California that we have never seen before.The critical thing for the public to know is evacuate early,” said Chief Thom Porter, director of Cal Fire.

“For the rest of you in California: Every acre can and will burn someday in this state.” Firefighters are in a battle to save homes and businesses as high winds push the Caldor Fire into the Tahoe Basin, creating a worst-case scenario for one of California’s most beloved natural treasures.On Monday afternoon, spot fires began leaping into the basin, bringing flames within a stone’s throw of heavily populated areas like Meyers.All of South Lake Tahoe fell under a mandatory evacuation order, causing a crush of people to flee the region .Over 20,000 structures are currently threatened.

Highway 89 just south of Meyers tonight, fire coming downhill from echo summit.Fire also established to the east.Very active for 2am.Resting for a few hours and back on tomorrow morning.

#caldorfire The most urgent firefighting is occurring along Highway 50 near Echo Summit, where crews had hoped to make a stand and prevent the head of the blaze from burning down into the basin.Dangerous, gusting winds, which are expected through Wednesday evening, are whipping up flames and embers which are floating down into Christmas Valley.The fire, now fed by the wind, is moving down the mountainside toward Meyers.“Echo Lake is currently in a firefight up there,” Cal Fire operations section chief Cody Bogan said at a Monday evening briefing.

“It’s been a rough, long day for the troops up there today.” A spot fires burns on the ridge behind the historic Strawberry Lodge as firefighters continue to tackle the Caldor Fire as it creeping closer to South Lake Tahoe on Saturday, Aug.28, 2021.Bogan said the fire also crossed Highway 88 and was pushing toward Kirkwood.“The Highway 88 corridor got hit pretty hard today,” he said.

READ MORE : Live cameras show Caldor Fire nearing South Lake Tahoe in real time Even though there’s a lot of rock between Echo Summit and Emerald Bay in the Tahoe Basin, which could theoretically slow the spread of the burn, strong winds of up to 35 mph likely will spur the fire on.”The winds today are going to make it more challenging to reduce or slow the spread of the fire,” said Henry Herrera, a spokesperson for Cal Fire.”The combination of the dry vegetation and the hot weather and the strong winds are going to pose a challenge even though there is some rock in that area.” “There is potential for the fire to move at a rapid rate of spread like it did yesterday or even faster,” he continued.Fire officials were beginning to feel optimistic Friday that they might be able to button up large portions of the blaze.

But that all changed over the weekend.The Caldor Fire burns homes along a ridge on August 30, 2021 near South Lake Tahoe.Winds picked back up Saturday and, by Sunday, fire crews lost containment.After starting the day with 19% containment, crews went back down to 13% after a brutal day on the fire lines.

Containment ticked back up to 15% Monday.The fire has burned 186,568 acres so far — 20,000 acres over the weekend alone.On Sunday night and into Monday, the fire raged through Twin Bridges and Echo Summit.

Reporters on the ground are seeing major structure damage in the communities, although official assessments by Cal Fire are still pending.So far the fire has destroyed 653 structures and damaged an additional 39.A map of damaged structures can be found here .There were small bright spots, though.Firefighters battled the fire at the Sierra-at-Tahoe ski resort, where snow cannons were activated to spray mist onto buildings.

A chairlift at Sierra-at-Tahoe ski resort sits idle as the Caldor Fire moves through the area on Aug.30, 2021, in Twin Bridges, Calif.The resort, normally famed for its snowy winter views, is now filled with fire crews, equipment, trucks and medical aid.Photos from Monday morning show that the fire made it into part of Sierra-at-Tahoe, but major buildings remain intact.

The fire has also calmed down in the area of Strawberry.“Everything through Strawberry is looking a lot better now,” Bogan said.The Caldor Fire first ignited on August 14 in heavy timber in the El Dorado National Forest near the small town of Grizzly Flats south of Pollock Pines.The fire has been burning along Highway 50, a main artery between Lake Tahoe and Sacramento.

The road has been closed since August 20.Two new evacuation shelters opened in Carson City, Nevada, as the entirety of South Lake Tahoe continues to flee the blaze.Available shelters around the region can be found here.The evacuation zone in South Lake Tahoe on Monday, Aug.30, 2021, as the Caldor Fire approaches.Areas in red are under a mandatory evacuation order, while areas in yellow are under an evacuation warning.

Evacuations have yet to be lifted in places like Pollock Pines as officials wait to see what happens with the red flag warning.After that expires on Wednesday at 11 p.m., crews will assess if it is safe for residents to return.

“Historically, we’ve used the terms such as anomaly, unprecedented or extreme to describe the wildfires that we have seen burn throughout the state over the past 10 to 20 years,” Cal Fire official Chris Anthony said.”These terms are no longer appropriate given the clear trends associated with drought, the changing climate and unresilient forest stands.Unfortunately these factors contribute to the resistance to control that we’re seeing with the Caldor Fire.” SFGATE news editor Amy Graff and the Associated Press contributed to this report.— Maps show how close Caldor Fire is burning to Lake Tahoe — Live cameras show blaze nearing South Lake Tahoe in real time — These well-known spots are near the fire as it burns in Tahoe — COVID-19 outbreak sidelines ‘whole strike team of crews’ battling Caldor Fire — Caldor Fire very close to South Lake Tahoe, even stronger winds expected — VRBO refusing to offer direct refunds to people in Tahoe Basin, customers say For full wildfire coverage, visit our wildfire page ..

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