Caldor Fire: Latest Update on When Evacuees May Be Able to Return Home

by Courtney Blackann

It’s good news for residents of Lake Tahoe. Authorities announced the thousands of displaced people should be able to return home this Labor Day weekend. After threatening the area with its continuous blaze and burning 200,000 acres, officials are containing the Caldor Fire at 32 per cent, authorities said.

Tens of thousands of Lake Tahoe residents evacuated the area. This happened after the stretch of California land was engulfed in the flames mid-August. Hundreds of homes were destroyed. Flames jumped Highway 50 in El Dorado County, shutting the roadway down.

While visitors were still planning their holiday in Lake Tahoe, the U.S. Park Service warned that the air quality was also extremely poor and encouraged travelers to reschedule.

After using snow machines to combat the wild flames in the area’s ski resorts, the weather appears to be turning. Humidity has crept up, giving a break to the dry, hostile air which fanned the flames.

Further, authorities are hopeful this means the fire’s threats are coming to an end.

‘Things are clearly heading in the right direction for us,’ said Dean Gould, a supervisor with the U.S. Forest Service, according to The Daily Mail.

Thirty-thousand homes and businesses were threatened as resident fled the area. While officials are confident they’re nearing the end of the wreckage, it won’t be an easy clean up. However, they remain hopeful.

‘Things are clearly heading in the right direction for us,” said Dean Gould, a supervisor with the U.S. Forest Service.

Caldor Fire’s Wild Start

The Caldor Fire began on Aug. 14 and has continued to burn for almost three weeks with little progress on keeping it contained. Drought and dry air conditions led to an even trickier landscape as the fire raged. Burning more than 200,000 acres and consuming over 500 homes and at least six commercial structures, it’s one of the deadliest wildfires of the summer.

However, the Caldor Fire is not the worst California saw this year. The fire raged shortly after the Dixie Fire gripped the state burning more than 500,000 acres. All in all, a devastating fire season for California.

As the fire continued its destructive path toward Lake Tahoe, thousands left, and air quality reached a 694 API on the air quality index.

Amid the flames, officials made the sad decision to close several national parks until the middle of September, discouraging visitors amid a usually busy tourist weekend.

“It is especially hard with the approaching Labor Day weekend, when so many people enjoy our national forests,” California’s Regional Forester Jennifer Eberlien said. “But it must be done. As the USFS states, the move serves to “better provide public and firefighter safety due to the ongoing California wildfire crisis.”