A large, rapidly-moving wildfire has breached the Lake Tahoe Basin, forcing tens of thousands to evacuate and threatening widespread destruction in the popular resort area.
The Caldor Fire had burned over 186,000 acres as of Monday evening, and was 15% contained. The blaze, which began southwest of the Lake Tahoe region, is moving to the northwest, thanks to dry conditions and “spot fires” that are being spread by strong winds.
The Tahoe Daily Tribune reported:
The Caldor Fire breached Echo Summit along the U.S. Highway 50 corridor on Monday evening in South Lake Tahoe.
Flames are coming down the side of the mountain and fire activity has also entered Christmas Valley and is burning on both sides of California State Route 89.
Wind conditions are creating spotting distances between three quarters of a mile to one mile.
The fire as of Monday night has burned 186,568 acres and is showing no signs of slowing down.
On Monday, the entire town of South Lake Tahoe was required to evacuate, as Bay Area NBC affiliate KCRA reported:
Evacuation orders were issued Monday for all of South Lake Tahoe after expanded evacuations the night before as the massive Caldor Fire in El Dorado County experienced a “rapid spread,” Cal Fire said.
The expanded evacuation orders for the city of about 22,000 come as a red flag warning went into effect Monday for the Northern Sierra and Southern Cascades.
“This is a systematic evacuation, one neighborhood at a time,” South Lake Tahoe police Lt. Travis Cabral said on social media. “I am asking you as our community to please remain calm.”
Firefighters are working to stop spot fires, and bulldozers worked to create fire lines to slow the advance of the blaze:
Dozers & hand crews are cutting fire lines just northeast of #ChristmasValley to keep the #CaldorFire out of Meyers. The goal is to stop the flames from moving closer toward #LakeTahoe even though the fire is now into the basin. This is off Apache Ave. @KPIXtv pic.twitter.com/NJAC3IB9Ns
— Katie Nielsen (@KatieKPIX) August 31, 2021
The fire is racing toward Meyers, according to SFGate.com, and is complicating evacuations because it is burning near U.S. Route 58 and California State Route 89, two main arterial roads linking the Tahoe communities with the outside world.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.