(TheLibertyRevolution.com)- The Caldor fire that has been burning through the Sierra Nevada mountains for the last two weeks is now descending toward Lake Tahoe, forcing many evacuation orders to be issued.
On Monday, the fire was able to go over a ridge toward the major population areas of the lake. The region’s windy and dry conditions are fueling the continued burning and spread of the fire.
Thousands of people who live along the western and southern shores of the lake were ordered to leave the area. Firefighters have already been dispatched to the area to put out smaller spot fires that popped up only a few miles from South Lake Tahoe, in California.
The lake is normally swarming with tourists this time of year, especially as Labor Day weekend is approaching. The lake, which sites on the border of Nevada and California, is a prime location for hiking, fishing, boating, eating and other recreational activities.
Now, the region is empty as people have left and businesses have boarded up.
There’s no certainty as to if, or when, the fire would reach the most populous towns around Lake Tahoe. Still, many officials believe as many as 20,000 or more structures could be in danger.
Officials with various public safety departments in the area have said that the fire hasn’t slowed down at all, and the weather isn’t helping at all. As of Monday, the fire was only about 15% contained, and it had already burned more than 186,000 acres.
The mandatory evacuation zone that was drawn up extends from Tahoma, California — which lies on the western shore of Lake Tahoe — all the way to the border with Nevada.
The police chief of Tahoma, David Stevenson, said at a Monday news conference:
“It was a tense few moments, I think, for our citizens in South Lake Tahoe today.”
Other steps that have been taken for safety from the fire is that just about every national forest in the California is now closed through at least September 17.
A red flag warning was issued for the southern Cascades and northern Sierra Nevada by the National Weather Service. This means there are very dry conditions as well as wind gusts of as much as 35 miles per hour that could cause the wildfires to spread into the mountains.
Air quality levels are also extremely low in the region. The U.S. Forest Service said recently that it has even reached a level of being unhealthy — with haze and smoke filling the air.
As thousands of people are trying to evacuate the Lake Tahoe region all at the same time, the roads have been clogged with cars. People are either returning to their primary homes, or calling an early end to their vacation because of the fire.
The fire is also causing temperatures to rise into the 90s, which is not the norm at all in the high elevations of the Seirra.