Encroaching Wildfires Force Tens of Thousands to Be Evacuated From Lake Tahoe Resorts
The Caldor Fire – one of the hundreds of devastating wildfires in the western United States – is torching its way toward California’s Lake Tahoe and its surrounding resorts, forcing tens of thousands of residents and tourists to be evacuated from the area, the Associated Press reported on Monday.
South Lake Tahoe, a vacation mecca for nature lovers and wilderness enthusiasts, is now threatened by the growing conflagration.
“Evacuation warnings issued for the resort city of 22,000 on Sunday turned into orders Monday. Vehicles loaded with bikes and camping gear and hauling boats snaked through thick, brown air that smelled of campfire. Police and other emergency vehicles whizzed by,” according to the Associated Press.
“This is a systematic evacuation, one neighborhood at a time,” South Lake Tahoe Police Lieutenant Travis Cabral said in a statement. “I am asking you as our community to please remain calm.”
Scorching temperatures, bone-dry conditions caused by historic droughts, and high winds caused by anthropomorphic climate change have provided kindling and the ideal environments for the massive infernos.
“The Caldor Fire has scorched 277 square miles (717 square kilometers) since breaking out Aug. 14. After the weekend’s fierce burning, containment dropped from 19% to 14%. More than 600 structures have been destroyed, and at least 20,000 more were threatened,” wrote AP.
As of last week, the Caldor Fire was only 13 percent contained.
South Lake Tahoe Mayor Tamara Wallace said that she never thought it would get this bad.
“It’s just yet another example of how wildfires have changed over the years,” she said. “It’s just a culmination of 14 to 18 more years of dead trees, the droughts we’ve had since then, those kinds of things.”