September 24 2021 03:30 pm

Caldor Fire smoke impacts South Lake Tahoe businesses


SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif (KTXL) — The South Lake Tahoe area is being heavily affected by hazardous smoke, leaving many businesses suffering as the weekend arrives. 

“It’s insane. I’ve never seen smoke like this in my entire life,” said Charlie Revord. 

Lake Tahoe’s clarity has been changed by the smoke. 

“You can taste it. You can smell it. It’s pretty crazy up here,” said Ryan Randall. 

Revord and Randall are in town for a bachelor party. 

“I was expecting a lot more lively,” Revord said. 

“I’ve never seen Tahoe like this before. I have never in my life seen 50 scooters; I have seen 50 people on scooters, but I’ve never seen 50 scooters just standing, just sitting there with nobody on them,” Randall said. 

The smoke is well above hazardous levels, leaving businesses reeling. It’s decimated the hotel and motel industry. Not many representatives wanted to go on camera, but a representative with Basecamp told FOX40 a canceled concert also affected their occupancy. 

Out of 179 rooms, only three rooms are occupied. 

“Just doing what we can with what we have,” said Nick Bruce-Boehler. 

Bruce-Boehler, California Burger Company co-owner, says he is surprised by the smoke’s effect. 

“Probably the slowest Friday I have ever seen even with COVID included. Aside from the full shut down,” Bruce-Boehler said. “This is the quietest I have ever seen this corner and I have been here five years.”

He adds this is just another challenge they have to overcome. 

“I’ve never seen this much smoke in my entire life and I lived through the Rim Fire when I was 17,” Revord said. 

The tourism agency in Tahoe is asking people to postpone trips to the area until the Caldor Fire is under control. 

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