Caldor Fire, 'knocking on the door' of Lake Tahoe area, becomes nation's 'No. 1 priority for firefighting resources'

STOCKTON (Calif.) A rapidly growing wildfire is approaching the Lake Tahoe basin. It has now become the No. 1 priority for firefighting resources in the country. The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection stated that it is the number one priority for resources to fight fires.
Caldor Fire is just 10 days old and has already blazed to almost 123,000 acres, destroying 632 structures, including over 450 homes. The Caldor Fire, which was only 10 days old, prompted evacuations. Nine national forests were also closed due to it and other blazes throughout the state. Nearly 18,000 properties were still at risk from the fire, which was only 11% contained by Tuesday evening.

Chief Thom Porter, Director of CAL FIRE, stated that "it is knocking at the door to Lake Tahoe basin." "We have every effort to keep it out, but we need to be aware that there is always the possibility. This is evident from the way the fires are burning."

Porter stated that the blaze is now the "No. Porter stated that the blaze was now the "No. 1 priority in the country" in terms of firefighting resources because it is so close to so many people, properties, and infrastructure. The fire continued to move toward South Lake Tahoe, a popular tourist spot located at the California-Nevada border, known for its huge emerald-blue water. The fire is being put out by more than 2,100 firefighters, 52 helicopters, 50 firemen, and 200 fire engines.

On Tuesday, ash fell on Lake Tahoe and thick yellow smoke obscured the stunning views of the mountains that rim the crystal-blue waters.

For a break from the hazardous air from 20 miles away, summer tourists sought refuge at cafes, outdoor gear shops, and casinos along Lake Tahoe Boulevard. Officials in the area were prompted to warn people about dangerous air quality and to limit outdoor time.

The #CaldorFire smoke is causing "hazardous" conditions in the #ElDoradoCounty, especially around South Lake Tahoe. Avoid outdoor activity and limit your time indoors. Check for the latest air quality in your area. Cal OES (@Cal_OES) August 24, 2021

Firefighters had hoped that the granite cliffs that separated the Lake Tahoe basin from the fire would prevent the fire reaching the lake and nearby communities. This includes many resorts. Fire officials said that the blaze was proving them wrong, just as other fires in the state.

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"We know that this fire has done some things that nobody could predict, but that's how firefighting in the state has been this year," Eldorado National Forest Supervisor Jeff Marsolais said to the Associated Press Sunday.

Highway 50, which is one of two roads that connects California to Lake Tahoe, was closed while the flames continued to spread. Firefighters tried to stop flames spreading to the Lake Tahoe area by closing Highway 50.

Fire officials informed residents of South Lake Tahoe that possible evacuation orders and warnings could be extended further toward Lake Tahoe at Tuesday's briefing. This was if the fire continues to move west and north.

Sgt. Eric Palmberg, El Dorado County Sheriff's Office spokesperson said that "we are working 24 hours per day with adequate personnel so that people are safe." Eric Palmberg was the one who assisted the community in evacuating residents from any emergency that might occur in South Lake Tahoe. There is a lot of planning. We will keep the community safe. This is our job.

Visitors to Lake Tahoe wore masks outside, not because of the coronavirus pandemic but because of toxic air and the inescapable smell of fire. Due to wildfire risk, the gondola which transports summer visitors to Heavenly Mountain's summit was closed during winter.

Cindy Osterloh said her husband was pushing a relative on a wheelchair under the idled cables. She and other family members were all taking allergy medication to reduce the sting in their eyes and keep their noses running so that they could enjoy the smoke while on vacation.

It was clearer when we woke up. After a short walk, we returned to the house and smoke is coming back in. We are going to see a movie, and hopefully the smoke will clear up enough so we can take our boat rides.

Caldor Fire Updates: 117,704 Acres, 9% Containment; 'knocking at the door' to Tahoe Basin

Read more: Antelope Fire, Monument Fire, Dixie Fire: The latest news about Northern California wildfires

Officials from the Fire Department Tuesday evening stated that the fire was moving east towards the basin, but they had set up a dozer line to stop it from spreading further.

Porter stated that he did not believe the fire would reach the basin, but added that he could be proven wrong due to the unusual behavior of current fires such as the 1,142-square mile Dixie Fire, which is located north in the Sierra Cascades region.

He said, "Mother Nature has overtaken and taken fires such as the Dixie to places I never thought possible."

After destroying at most 1,262 buildings and 679 homes, the Dixie Fire was 41% contained, despite it being raging for over a month. The Dixie Fire also destroyed most of Greenville, a small town in the Gold Rush region about 100 miles north of Lake Tahoe. It was then the second-largest wildfire to hit the state in state history.

Six7,000 students were affected by smoke from California's huge fires, which kept schools in Reno closed for the second consecutive day.

Continue reading: Wildfires are igniting trees to combat climate change.

Dixie Fire destroys Greenville, a California gold rush town.

According to Cal Fire, there were more than 14,000 firefighters fighting a dozen wildfires in California Tuesday.

The fires had already burned almost 1.3 million acres as of Tuesday. This includes the Dixie Fire which is the largest active wildfire in the country. The fire has been burning more than six weeks.

According to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, 6,714 wildfires have been reported in California so far, covering an area of nearly 1.6 Million acres, more than Grand Canyon National Park.

According to the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise (Idaho), there were 92 large fires burning across the country.

Wildfires in the American West are now more difficult to combat due to heat waves and droughts that have been linked to climate change. According to scientists, climate change has made the region warmer and dryer over the past 30 year and will continue making the weather extremes and wildfires more destructive.

Large corporations purchase credits to offset their carbon emissions by purchasing credits in areas designated for climate change mitigation. The carbon that they have absorbed into the atmosphere is released by the trees, thereby compounding the problem they were meant to solve.

Contributing: Brett McGinness; Jessica Skropanic; David Benda; Redding Record Searchlight; The Associated Press

This article first appeared on USA TODAY. Caldor Fire near Lake Tahoe Basin is 'No. Caldor Fire near Lake Tahoe basin is 'No. 1 priority' for firefighters