Breaking News
Get Actionable Insights with InvestingPro+: Start 7 Day FREE Trial Register here
Investing Pro 0
Ad-Free Version. Upgrade your Investing.com experience. Save up to 40% More details

Residents, tourists scramble to evacuate as California fire nears Lake Tahoe

WorldAug 31, 2021 03:17PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
 
3/3 © Reuters. A view from Emerald Bay towards Lake Tahoe is obscured by smoke from the Caldor Fire viewed from Georgetown, California, U.S. August 30, 2021. REUTERS/Fred Greaves 2/3

By Fred Greaves

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. (Reuters) -Residents and tourists in communities near Lake Tahoe fled on Monday as a fierce, 2-week-old wildfire roared closer to the popular resort destination through drought-parched forests in northern California's Sierra Nevada mountains.

Evacuations in and around the town of South Lake Tahoe came as the U.S. Forest Service said it was taking the unusual step of closing all 18 national forests in California to the public in the midst of a fire season already shaping up as one of the worst on record.

The closure is due to last 17 days, starting Wednesday, and effectively extends a shutdown of nine national forests in northern California that began on Aug. 23 and was due to expire over the upcoming Labor Day holiday weekend.

A similar closure of all 18 national forests in California was imposed last September due to what the Forest Service then called "unprecedented and historic" fire conditions. In its latest announcement, the agency cited "fire behavior that is beyond the norm of our experience."

The agency also cited "significantly limited" resources available for wildfire suppression given the scores of large fires burning in California and a dozen other Western states.

More than 6,800 wildfires have blackened an estimated 1.7 million acres (689,000 hectares) within California alone this season - much of it on Forest Service property - putting 2021 on pace to surpass last year's record amount of landscape consumed by flames.

The so-called Caldor blaze near Lake Tahoe has emerged as one of the most destructive and disruptive this summer, spreading across more than 177,000 acres (71,740 hectares) since Aug. 14, with firefighters managing to carve containment lines around just 14% of its perimeter as of Monday.

'NEVER SEEN BEFORE'

Smoke and ash from the fire has choked the normally pristine skies around Lake Tahoe for days, leading to an early exit by many tourists.

Dry fuel and up-slope canyon winds helped fan the fire over almost 10,000 more acres since Sunday, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire).

Evacuation orders were issued for several areas, including a portion of El Dorado County south of Lake Tahoe, which straddles the California-Nevada border and is a beloved area for swimming, boating, hiking and camping. The area also is home to popular ski resorts in winter.

"There is fire activity in California that we have never seen before," Cal Fire Chief Thom Porter said in a briefing Monday. He said blazes are destroying homes and wilderness across both sides of the Sierra range.

Hotel owner Neil Panchal and his family were up until around 3 a.m. packing up clothes, medicine and food so they could leave their South Lake Tahoe home on Monday morning for Nevada.

"We've never seen anything like this. The kids were crying," Panchal, 42, told Reuters as he, his wife, their two children and his in-laws prepared to drive off through smoke he said was already hurting his throat.

"First COVID, and now this on top of it," said Panchal, who owns two hotels in the area, both of which have been evacuated.

Evacuations were ordered for all of South Lake Tahoe, home to some 22,000 residents. First responders went door to door urging people to leave, and local jails were also emptied, California Office of Emergency Services Director Mark Ghilarducci said at the briefing.

Traffic backed up as thousands tried to flee at once, and Ghilarducci said there had been "a lot of issues related to the evacuation." He said the state was working with local officials on planning for a safe and orderly evacuation.

The Caldor fire has destroyed at least 472 homes and other structures and led to injuries of five people, a mix of firefighters and civilians, Cal Fire reported.

Residents, tourists scramble to evacuate as California fire nears Lake Tahoe
 

Related Articles

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with other users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind:  

  •            Enrich the conversation, don’t trash it.

  •           Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed. 

  •           Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically. Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user. Racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination will not be tolerated.

  • Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases. Comments that are written in all caps and contain excessive use of symbols will be removed.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and comments containing links will be removed. Phone numbers, email addresses, links to personal or business websites, Skype/Telegram/WhatsApp etc. addresses (including links to groups) will also be removed; self-promotional material or business-related solicitations or PR (ie, contact me for signals/advice etc.), and/or any other comment that contains personal contact specifcs or advertising will be removed as well. In addition, any of the above-mentioned violations may result in suspension of your account.
  • Doxxing. We do not allow any sharing of private or personal contact or other information about any individual or organization. This will result in immediate suspension of the commentor and his or her account.
  • Don’t monopolize the conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also strongly believe in giving everyone a chance to air their point of view. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at Investing.com’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
Post also to:
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's Investing.com's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.
Continue with Google
or
Sign up with Email