Crews save historic Tahoe Basin buildings using aluminumized wrap

Local News

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. (KTXL) — As the sun sets on the Caldor Fire in the Lake Tahoe Basin, more and more people are coming back home, thankful they have one to return to.

“We had so many folks on the fire and we are so thankful and so proud of the work they did,” said Lisa Herron, with the U.S. Forest Service.

Work to protect homes and structures — importantly historic structures — like the Angora Lookout near Fallen Leaf Lake, covered in aluminized wrap.

(Photo Credit: Leona Allen, USFS Fire Prevention Patrol 41)

“It was the first time I saw it utilized in the basin,” Herron said.

Herron said it’s a technique she has seen used by the Forest Service over the past years throughout the west. As the Caldor Fire moved east, crews worked ahead to wrap the lookout and protect it from radiant heat and embers flying a mile away from the fire.

The Angora Lookout was built in 1924. This wasn’t the first time a wildfire threatened the structure. Burn scars can still be seen from the 2007 Angora Fire.

Protecting homes and structures with aluminum wrap is a growing trend. The material resembles tin foil from the kitchen drawer, but is modeled after the tent-like shelters wildland firefighters use as a last resort to protect themselves when trapped by flames.

(AP Photo/Jae C. Hong,File)

Now, it’s a tool used to protect property in hopes it survives to live to see another day.

“It’s incredible, it’s very incredible,” Herron said. “It’s a great tool firefighters can use to assist them in helping the structures to survive.”

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