September 24 2021 03:30 pm

Firefighters stay on defense against Caldor Fire to protect South Lake Tahoe

Wildfire Watch

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. (KTXL) — Firefighters are on the defensive in the battle against the Caldor Fire.

As of Wednesday night, the fire had grown to over 200,000 acres.

As flames creep uphill to Lake Tahoe’s south shore, the focus is on protecting the places that bring people to town, which includes places like Heavenly Mountain Resort.

The popular ski resort employs hundreds of people and welcomes even more.

“This town, South Lake Tahoe, is dependent on people coming and visiting these areas. If we were to lose Heavenly, it would be horrendous, so we’re going to do everything we can to keep this fire from getting into the cabins and to keep it from getting into the structures, even the chair lifts,” explained Los Angeles Fire Department Assistant Chief Jaime Moore. “We are concerned about every aspect of this fire getting into any of those resources that we know that people are dependent on for their livelihood.”

This is why some of the 4,200 crews fighting the Caldor Fire are staging here positioned to attack if southwest winds lead the flames on a mountain climb. 

“If we get the right push in the wrong place, we would be off to the races. And we are very well aware that we know better than to let our guard down. We’ve seen it happen in other fires,” Moore said.

The bright spot Wednesday night is that the winds are calmer than crews had expected so that’s working in their favor as they work to build containment lines. 

The other good news is that the temperature has dropped considerably, and fire crews said the chill in the weather is helpful in diverting the fire away from South Lake Tahoe.

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