A MASSIVE two-week-old fire prompted mass evacuations in Lake Tahoe over the weekend as the blaze ripped through California while destroying homes and buildings in its path.
The Caldor Fire — which began on August 14, south of Pollock Pines in El Dorado County, and remains an "extremely active fire" — reached nearly 168,387 acres as of Sunday night.
It now remains a threat to the mountains surrounding the large freshwater lake in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.
The South Lake Tahoe Fire Rescue urged people to be safe as they warned late Sunday night about new evacuation warnings due to Monday and Tuesday being labeled red flag days "worsening fire conditions."
"New evacuation warnings for the entire City of South Lake Tahoe. From Stateline, NV to Tahoma," the rescue team wrote in a Facebook post. "Please be ready and ensure you are signed up for CodeRed reverse 911 at ready.edso.org."
As of 9.20pm on August 29, 2021, the City of South Lake Tahoe was placed under an evacuation warning.
By the nighttime, a warning to leave the region was relayed to all people living on the California side of the Lake Tahoe Basin, the Associated Press reports.
Jeff Marsoleis, the forest supervisor for El Dorado National Forest, said on Sunday: "Today’s been a rough day and there’s no bones about it."
Just days before the blaze covered even more acres, Marsoleis had hope that fire crews could prevent the Caldor Fire from spreading east.
On Sunday, the forest supervisor admitted: "Today it let loose."
According to Cal Fire, the blaze — which is only 13 percent contained — triggered excavation orders and warning in California's El Dorado County and Alpine County.
Cal Fire Division Chief Erich Schwab also commented on how fast the fire is moving "to put it in perspective."
Schwab said: "We’ve been seeing about a half-mile of movement on the fire’s perimeter each day for the last couple of weeks, and today, this has already moved at 2.5 miles (4 kilometers) on us, with no sign that it’s starting to slow down."
The fire has destroyed more than 600 structures and at least 18,000 more were are under threat.
Additionally, fire managers pushed back the estimated date for full containment from early this week to September 8.
Meanwhile, the Railroad Fire in Southern California closed off a portion of Interstate 15 on Sunday and evacuation orders were put in place after a wildfire broke out and spread through Cleveland National Forest on Saturday.
And California’s Dixie Fire, the second-largest in state history, was 48 percent contained in the Sierra-Cascades region.
The Dixie fire has destroyed approximately 1,300 buildings, including 700 homes, since it began in July.
As dozens of fires continue to burn, 200 U.S. Army soldiers from Washington state and equipment — including eight US Air Force C-130 aircraft — are being sent to Northern California to help firefighters, the US Army North said in a statement Saturday.
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