On Saturday, 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. US 50, which links South Lake Tahoe to Sacramento and the Bay Area, remains closed.
— craig philpott (@CphilpottCraig) August 22, 2021
The fire, which began in Eldorado National Forest on August 14th, has burned 104,309-acres and is 5% 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
The Forest Service yesterday 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.”
Cal Fire on Sunday noted that containment remains intentionally low due to focussing on reducing the threat to structures in the path of the fire. Evacuations are still in effect for tens of thousands in El Dorado County and have moved into neighboring Amador County as the fire creeps closer to South Lake Tahoe.
Air quality index readings are over 300 near the lake and over 400 near Truckee. Over 150 is “unhealthy,” and over 300 is “hazardous.”
1,618 personnel are fighting the blaze, including 194 engines, 32 hand crews, 22 dozers, 20 helicopters, and 15 water tenders.