SAWT BEIRUT INTERNATIONAL

| 23 April 2024, Tuesday |

California fire approaches Lake Tahoe after mass evacuation

A day after an explosive wildfire emptied a resort city at the southern tip of Lake Tahoe, a huge firefighting force got ready for strong winds Tuesday as residents in neighboring Nevada were put on notice to be ready to flee.

The city of South Lake Tahoe, usually bustling with summer tourists, was eerily empty and the air thick and hazy with smoke from the Caldor Fire, one of two major blazes plaguing California. On Monday, roughly 22,000 residents jammed the city’s main artery for hours after they were ordered to leave as the fire advanced, chewing up drought-stricken vegetation.

City officials said only a handful defied the order. But nearly everyone worried Tuesday about what the fire would do next.

“It just kind of sucks waiting. I mean, I know it’s close down that way,” said Russ Crupi, gesturing south from his home in the Heavenly Valley Estates mobile home park, which he and his wife manage for a living. He had arranged sprinklers and tractors around the neighborhood.

“I’m worried about what’ll be here when people come back. People want to come back to their houses and that’s what I’m going to try to do,” he said.

Pushed by strong winds, the Caldor Fire crossed two major highways and burned mountain cabins as it swept down slopes into the Tahoe Basin.

More firefighters arrived just after dark Monday, and many were dispatched to protect homes in the Christmas Valley area, about 10 miles (16 kilometers) from South Lake Tahoe.

    Source:
  • Associated Press