PHOTO: Tahoe Ski Resort Looks Apocalyptic as Firefighters Battle Caldor Wildfire

by Courtney Blackann

As the Caldor wildfire continues to blaze over Lake Tahoe, photos of the crisis show just how dire the situation is becoming. First responders are working tirelessly to edge the blaze. However, its effects continue to plague the California destination.

The wildfire started Aug. 14, expanding across more than 114,000 acres and decimating close to 500 homes and almost a dozen commercial structures. Both city officials and firefighters continue to work around the clock to contain the fire as much as possible.

Further, photos recently shared by Gizmodo, show the eerie landscape of destruction along Lake Tahoe resorts. The thick air is heavily encapsulated by a smoky layer of ash. A murky, orange glow serves as the backdrop to a once pristine landscape of pine trees.

Other photos show dozens of cars trying to escape the area. With a smoke-laden highway, the cars are lining the highway illustrating a disheartening evacuation.

Described as surreal, the area is a reminder of Mother Nature’s immense power. Thousands in El Dorado County and Lake Tahoe were ordered to evacuate. With air quality reaching an all-time dangerous level of 694 on the air quality index, residents who stayed behind are to remain inside. Additionally, almost 20,000 structures stand in the fire’s path.

Caldor Fire and Declining Air Quality

Moreover, the Caldor Fire is on the heels of Dixie, the state’s worst wildfire ever – burning 500,000 acres of land. The air quality is at its absolute worst. Especially as it borders other states.

“For those of you wondering if the air quality yesterday was the worst ever in the Reno/Sparks area … the answer is an unfortunate yes,” the National Weather Service in Reno tweeted Monday, according to CNN.

Cal Fire Director Thom Porter previously warned that the wildire could continue to expand.

“We have all efforts in place to keep it out of the basin, but we do need to also be aware that that is a possibility based on the way the fires have been burning and the concerns that we have been living in all of these other fires and their growth,” Porter said.

The wildfire was initially contained at 9% before it spread to the Lake Tahoe basin. Officials explained how some of this is possible.

“One of the things that’s been impacting a lot of these fires is the rollout that’s been occurring, which is dead timber on fire, starting to roll down and it can cross over containment lines and ignite other vegetation along the path,” public information officer for Cal Fire Capt. Keith Wade said.