UNITED STATES: California’s Caldor fire moved closer to more heavily populated areas in the northern part of the state on Sunday, after which people were ordered to evacuate the city of South Lake Tahoe and the southern portion of the lake with orders of road closures as well, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, also known as Cal Fire said.
“It is being done out of an abundance of caution, but the full city limits are under an evacuation order,” South Lake Tahoe city spokesperson Lindsey Baker told CNN.
The fire has been active now for 14 days and has spread across 168,387 acres, Cal Fire added, saying it has caused evacuation orders in multiple counties. Five people have been injured in the fire that has destroyed more than 650 structures and damaged nearly 40 more since it began August 14.
“There is fire activity happening in California that we have never seen before,” said Chief Thom Porter, director of Cal Fire. “For the rest of you in California: every acre can and will burn someday in this state.”
With fire conditions resulting in the rapid spread of the fire, Cal Fire officials released updated maps three times in as many hours Monday morning for three areas, marking the change from evacuation warnings to orders.
Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak declared a state of emergency on Monday in anticipation of the fire reaching his state in the days ahead.
“It’s because these winds, the low humidity, the low moisture, all these conditions are making it very, very treacherous for this fire and so that’s why its been expanding so rapidly,” Clive Savacool, fire chief for the city of South Lake Tahoe explained.
A red flag warning will be in place from Monday night until Tuesday as humidity values will run as low as 5-10%, according to CNN Meteorologist Michael Guy.
With an extreme drought and several active wildfires burning during the middle of the state’s fire season, firefighters have had to pace themselves and outside resources have been called in.