Caldor Fire Near Lake Tahoe Prompts Mass Evacuations

  • The Caldor Fire in Northern California prompted several evacuation orders and warnings on Sunday and Monday.
  • Fire conditions in the region are expected to worsen this week as the blaze continues to spread.
  • The dire conditions come as firefighters in California face several active wildfires amid an ongoing drought.

The raging Caldor Fire in Northern California prompted a series of evacuations orders and warnings in the region on Sunday night and Monday morning as the fire spreads rapidly toward the Lake Tahoe region. 

The massive fire has already injured five people and destroyed more than 650 structures since it began on August 14, Cal Fire said in an update. Forty homes have also been damaged by Caldor’s conditions. 

Evacuation orders have been issued for large parts of El Dorado and Alpine counties, while evacuation warnings stand in other parts of the counties. All of South Lake Tahoe was ordered to evacuate on Monday morning, leading to standstill traffic out of the city.

Cal Fire’s hourly updates on the fire’s trajectory and evacuation orders have warned there is a “potential threat to life and/or property.”

The fire’s rapid spread even prompted at least one hospital in the region to transfer all of its patients ahead of Caldor’s expected growth.

The Barton Memorial Hospital in South Lake Tahoe tweeted Sunday that all patients at the hospital would be transferred to regional partner facilities in light of the fire, and patient families would be notified. 

The flurry of evacuation orders comes as fire officials expect the blaze’s dangerous conditions to worsen this week, Clive Savacool, fire chief for the city of South Lake Tahoe told KTVN.

“The Caldor Fire has made a pretty big jump in the last few hours, so that’s had a pretty big impact on the community and expansion of evacuations,” Savacool said.”It’s because these winds, the low humidity, the low moisture, all these conditions are making it very, very treacherous for this fire and so that’s why it’s been expanding so rapidly.”

Eerie video from the region shows the Caldor Fire casting an ominous orange haze in the area. 

The dire conditions come as firefighters in California face several active wildfires amid an ongoing drought. The Dixie Fire, which is currently the largest active wildfire in the state, has grown to more than 765,000 acres since it began in mid-July, Cal Fire said. 

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