As the Caldor Fire rages, California residents near Lake Tahoe’s south shore have been told to be prepared to evacuate their homes.
The whole Desolation Wilderness has been ordered to be evacuated in addition to all of the areas surrounding the southern end of Lake Tahoe, up to the Nevada border, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.
The fire, which has been roaring for two weeks, is currently at 168,387 acres and has destroyed almost 500 homes and threatened more than 21,000 other structures.
The National Weather Service issued a red flag warning for extreme fire danger due to low humidity and fast-moving winds.
Many residents of Christmas Valley, Meyers, Alpine County and Amador County have been told to evacuate due to the fire’s rapid spread.
The Red Cross has opened a shelter for the evacuees at the Douglas County Community and Senior Center in Gardnerville, Nevada.
Fire crews have been working to evacuate people and defend properties, but the fire has burned outside of containment lines and the hot, dry weather has served to bolster the fire’s strength and increase difficulty for firefighters.
Air quality readings in the area have hit above 200 in many places and some areas have passed 300 — anything above 100 is considered “unhealthy.” A Spare the Air alert has also been in effect for the Bay Area due to the smoke drifting further south.
Activist groups, such as Rural Resistance Placerville and Black Lives Matter El Dorado County, have distributed N95 respirator masks to residents.
The Dixie Fire, which is roaring just east of Chico, is the second largest blaze in the state’s history. The fire has destroyed almost 1,300 structures and burned through almost 800,000 acres across Shasta, Lassen, Tehama, Plumas and Butte counties.
[San Francisco Chronicle]— Victoria Pruitt