The above webcam video shows firefighters taking chair 10 at Kirkwood Mountain Resort, CA, in their fight against the Caldor Fire.
Both Kirkwood and Sierra-at-Tahoe are under threat from the fire as it continues its march towards Lake Tahoe. The fire is currently within 2-miles of Sierra-at-Tahoe and is clearly visible from the ski resort. The resort has reportedly hired a private company to provide firefighters to protect their infrastructure.
— CrashingOut (@crashingout) August 26, 2021
The first evacuation warnings for residents within the Tahoe Basin were issued yesterday. With extreme fire conditions and unsettled weather in the area, residents in the wider region around Lake Tahoe are reminded to listen closely to local authorities and be prepared to evacuate.
Above pic was at around 6AM. This is how it looks now. Smoked in. pic.twitter.com/aEjxkehKhj
— lnOrOut (@Undetermined_US) August 27, 2021
With Red Flag conditions possible over the coming days the Caldor Fire could spread rapidly into more populated communities and significantly broader areas, up to and including South Lake Tahoe could be required to evacuate.
During a community meeting Thursday the public was told there were no new structures burned on Thursday and that for the most part, the fire was holding along US 50. The eastern point of the fire had a problem with floating embers starting fires behind the fire lines, but crews were vigorously attacking that. The fire’s main growth now is on the northeast side along US 50 near the community of Strawberry.
Below are current evacuation orders and warnings as well as road closures:
Evacuation Order: El Dorado County
- From Twin Bridges east to the Echo Summit
- From Highway 50 south to the Amador and Alpine County lines
- From Highway 50 north to Flagpole Peak
Evacuation Warnings: El Dorado County
- Christmas Valley from Highway 89 west to Echo Summit
- Highway 89 due west to Watershed Ridge and south to the Amador/El Dorado County line
- The Highway 50 closure has been extended east to Meyers (Highway 50 and Highway 89 junction). Residents evacuating the area between Twin Bridges and Echo Summit should use Highway 50 east.
On Saturday 21st August, the Caldor Fire in El Dorado County southwest of Lake Tahoe crossed Highway 50 near Kyburz as high winds forced the blaze within six miles of Sierra-at-Tahoe ski resort.
— craig philpott (@CphilpottCraig) August 22, 2021
The fire, which began in Eldorado National Forest on August 14th, has burned 139,510-acres and is 12% contained.
“This is turning out to be a larger and more significant fire in California’s history. It’s far from over.”
– Captain Stephen Horner, a Cal Fire spokesperson
Earlier this week the Forest Service announced an emergency closure of nine National Forests through at least September 6th. The Eldorado National Forest had already been closed from August 17th through September 30th.
Heavenly, Kirkwood, and Sierra-at-Tahoe Resorts last week all announced their summer operations are closed indefinitely. The power at Sierra-at-Tahoe has been turned off.
“Due to ongoing risk of wildfire to the Tahoe Region, Heavenly is now closed for summer. We thank our guests and staff for a great summer and now turn our attention to winter. We’ll be ready when the snow flies and look forward to welcoming you back for the 2021/22 winter season.”
Yesterday the main fire spread was on the Northeast side along Highway 50 and the community of Strawberry. Low humidity and up-canyon winds contributed to spotting distances of up to half of a mile, while aiding the fire spread. Passive crown fires were common in the north, northeastern, and eastern areas of the incident. The winds subsided in the early afternoon, allowing the relative humidity to recover. Crews continued with the firing operation to improve and strengthen control lines.
To better provide public and firefighter safety due to extreme fire conditions throughout Northern California, and strained firefighter resources throughout the Country, the USDA Forest Service Pacific Southwest Region announced a temporary closure of nine National Forests. This closure is effective through September 6, 2021, at 11:59 p.m.
Air quality index readings are over 300 near the lake and over 400 on the north shore. Over 150 is “unhealthy,” and over 300 is “hazardous.”
3,078 personnel are fighting the blaze, including more than 194 engines, 32 hand crews, 22 dozers, 20 helicopters, and 15 water tenders.