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Climate and Environment

Caldor Fire Forces All Residents Of South Lake Tahoe To Evacuate

an empty chair lift is highlighted against a dark orange sky and trees burn in the background
A chairlift at Sierra at Tahoe ski resort sits idle as the Caldor Fire moves through the area on Aug. 30, 2021 in Twin Bridges.
(Justin Sullivan
Getty Images)
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Mandatory evacuations are now in place for all residents of South Lake Tahoe and its surrounding resort communities, as flames from the growing Caldor Fire have reached the border of the Tahoe Basin.

Officials say this is only the second time a wildfire has crossed the Sierra Nevada. The first time happened a month ago, with the still-active Dixie Fire.

Mel Smothers plays the violin while stuck in traffic with evacuees as residents attempt to flee the Caldor fire in South Lake Tahoe on August 30, 2021.
(Josh Edelson
AFP via Getty Images)

Cal Fire chief Thom Porter says the Caldor Fire grew by more than 20,000 acres overnight, underscoring how unpredictable the flames have become amid shifting weather conditions.

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"For the rest of you in California, you've heard me say this before, every acre can and will burn some day in this state. Be ready now," Porter advises.

Flames surround a chair lift at Sierra-at-Tahoe ski resort during the Caldor Fire in Twin Bridges, California on August 30, 2021.
(Josh Edelson
AFP via Getty Images)

Since it first broke out nearly two weeks ago, the Caldor Fire has scorched more than 177,000 acres.

Over the weekend, it was estimated to be about 19% contained, but crews revised that figure Monday morning, dropping containment down to 14% because of how rapidly the flames have spread.

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