Communities to the south and southeast of Lake Tahoe’s shores are under mandatory evacuation orders as the massive Caldor Fire creeps northwest.
The fire has destroyed hundreds of homes and now threatens another 34,000, according to CNN.
The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection estimates the fire has burned 204,400 acres as of Wednesday morning and is 20 percent contained.
Strong winds and the mountainous and complex landscape have made it difficult for fire officials to predict the fire’s path.
Some figured the fire would slow as it reached higher altitudes where there is less vegetation, but that hasn’t happened.
The fire also found its way around a tall granite ridge that many in Lake Tahoe hoped would keep the fire at bay, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The Lake Tahoe area is home to some of the priciest real estate in the region. California Senator Dianne Feinstein listed her five-acre spread there earlier this year with a $41 million asking price and there are at least nine other properties on the market with eight-figure asking prices.
Cal Fire chief Tom Porter said that the Caldor fire and the Dixie fire in northern California were the first in the state’s history to burn from one side of the Sierra Nevada to the other.
The Dixie Fire has burned for a month and a half in an area north of Sacramento. The fire has burned more than 844,000 acres —making it the state’s second-largest fire ever by acreage burned — and is 52 percent contained.