The residents of Lake Tahoe have a lot to cheer about. With the Caldor Fire being more than 60% contained, the people are celebrating those first responders who made it happen. As a parade of fire trucks rolled through the streets of the town, dozens lined the road thanking the firefighters for a job well done.
Holding signs and jumping up and down, the crowd whistles in appreciation. Video footage captures the emotional moment. Take a look below to see for yourself.
Since Aug. 14, thousands of firefighters have worked around the clock attempting to stop the spread of the fire. It traveled from El Dorado County down to the Lake Tahoe basin. While officials were initially hopeful the flames wouldn’t reach the popular tourist town, days before Labor Day they realized that wouldn’t be the case.
Thousands were forced to evacuate, leaving behind their homes for several days. The blaze consumed more than 200,000 acres of land, several homes, and other structures. Wildlife pushed from their habitats edged closer to residential areas. Some small brown bears even got curious enough to sneak into backyards in search of food and water.
The air quality also fell to treacherous levels, and those who stayed were to wear masks and stay inside with windows closed.
Additionally, Lake Tahoe businesses lost millions of dollars. Having to close their doors during the popular Labor Day weekend, the tourist town struggled.
Residents Return Home Amid Caldor Fire
While some tourists chose to stay and take their chances hiking in the area, several national parks closed through mid-September, limiting spots for people to explore.
“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.”
As the fire reached a safe level of containment, officials said it was safe for residents to return home.
‘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.
About thirty thousand homes and businesses were threatened by the flames as people come back to see what damages occurred.
Further, after the devastation of the Dixie Fire, the Caldor Fire hit California hard. The immense heat and dry weather throughout the midwest didn’t help the conditions. The Dixie Fire is now the second-worst fire on record in California. It destroyed nearly one million acres of land.