The Caldor fire, which broke out near now-leveled town of Grizzly Flats about 80 miles east of Sacramento, has burned 177,000 acres and destroyed more than 650 structures, crossed over the Sierra Nevada mountain range, putting much of the South Lake Tahoe Basin under an evacuation warning. By Monday evening, the fire had made its way into the Christmas Valley and Meyers area. The blaze grew by more than 20,000 acres Sunday alone and burned the Sierra-at-Tahoe ski resort. People living in areas along the south and southwestern shore from Tahoma to the Nevada border were ordered to leave their homes by Monday morning. Traffic was gridlocked throughout most of South Lake Tahoe Monday afternoon.
“Historically, we’ve used the terms such as anomaly, unprecedented, or extreme to describe the wildfires that we have seen burn throughout the state over the past 10 to 20 years,” Cal Fire’s Chris Anthony said during a press briefing. A red flag warning is in effect for the northern Sierras through 11 p.m. Wednesday, with southwesterly winds forecast to reach 20 to 35 mph. “Fuel conditions remain critical, and we still see active crown runs and group torching in the northeastern divisions of the fire. Current fire behavior is contributing to ember casts traveling up to half a mile. We anticipate early morning winds in the northeast area of the fire. Fire weakened trees continue to present a risk for crews,” officials said.