(South Lake Tahoe) Thousands of people were ordered to evacuate the south shore of Lake Tahoe, California, Monday, a tourist area threatened by an approaching fire that has ravaged the area for more than two weeks.
Posted on Aug 30, 2021 at 5:31 pm
The forest fire called Caldor Fire has already covered more than 700 km2, destroyed several hundred buildings and emitted thick smoke polluting Northern California.
Thanks to extreme drought and persistent winds, the flames continued on Monday towards South Lake Tahoe, a tourist town on the shores of North America’s largest alpine lake on the Nevada border.
“Conditions and fuels are historic,” Fire Commandant Jeff Veik told the San Francisco Chronicle. “We will put out this fire. But it won’t be today, ”he said.
The Caldor Fire is just one of dozens of flames ravaging the chronic drought-stricken western United States, compounded by the effects of climate change. More than 7,000 km2 of vegetation has already been burned, more than double the average area at this time of the year.
Tens of thousands of residents had to flee the flames, often without knowing when to return or whether they would find their homes intact.
“There was a knock on the door last night around 10 p.m. to warn me to get ready,” Corinne Kobel of South Lake Tahoe told the Sacramento Bee newspaper. “And this morning at 10 o’clock it was the police who told us to leave. I’m freaking out, ”she adds.
In total, around 22,000 people were evacuated to the area on Monday morning.
An AFP reporter saw an endless line of vehicles attempting to leave South Lake Tahoe, idling, bumper to bumper.
Further north, the gigantic Dixie Fire continued to expand, devouring more than 3,000 km2 since leaving six weeks ago.
In California alone, more than 15,000 local firefighters fought about fifteen large-scale forest fires on Monday morning.
Their number and intensity has multiplied in recent years in the western United States, with the fire season becoming significantly longer.
According to experts, this phenomenon is primarily related to global warming: the rise in temperature, the increase in heat waves and the drop in precipitation in places make an ideal cocktail of fire.