Bearing down on scenic Lake Tahoe, the Caldor Fire grew closer to the iconic tourist destination Tuesday, prompting new evacuations into Nevada after the lakeside town was ordered to leave the area the day before.
The Caldor Fire continued its trek toward Lake Tahoe, scorching homes, vacation rentals and part of a ski resort as thousands in South Lake Tahoe were told to leave the area immediately, forcing residents and tourists enjoying summer vacations on a frantic scramble east toward Nevada on Highway 50.
New evacuation orders Tuesday extended into Douglas County, Nevada, for the first time, forcing residents in communities near the southeastern edge of Lake Tahoe from their homes.
The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said the wildfire, which started Aug. 14, had spread through nearly 200,000 acres and as of Tuesday evening was only 18% contained.
Conditions Tuesday were expected to fan the flames further, with a red flag warning remaining in effect across the region. Wind gusts up to 35 mph and single-digit humidity could cause fires to grow rapidly, the National Weather Service said.
Fire officials Tuesday reiterated that Tuesday and Wednesday, due to the high winds and low moisture in the air, would be crucial in fighting the fire and preventing its spread further into the South Lake Tahoe area, known for its picturesque beaches, emerald-blue waters, rocky shorelines and stunning landscapes in the Sierra Nevada.