SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. (AP/KTXL) — The massive Caldor Fire has quickly expanded since it sparked on Aug. 14, making its way towards Lake Tahoe Tuesday.
The U.S. Forest Service said the fire began 4 miles south of Grizzly Flats and 2 miles east of Omo Ranch in the Eldorado National Forest. By Tuesday morning, the Caldor Fire was 191,607 acres — nearly 300 square miles — and 16% contained.
Monday, roads were clogged with fleeing cars when the entire resort city of South Lake Tahoe was ordered to evacuate and communities just across the state line in Nevada were warned to get ready to leave.
The popular vacation haven normally filled with tens of thousands of summer tourists emptied out as the Caldor Fire continued to expand. Vehicles loaded with bikes and camping gear and hauling boats were in gridlock traffic, stalled in hazy, brown air that smelled like a campfire. Police and other emergency vehicles whizzed by.
More than 33,600 structures remain threatened, Cal Fire reported. At least 486 homes, 11 commercial properties and 172 minor structures have been destroyed by the fire. Forty structures have been damaged.
The numbers reflected may change as crews make progress through the area. Officials are updating a map indicating the current known status of structures. Click here to view the map.
The fire also roared through the Sierra-at-Tahoe ski resort, destroying secondary buildings but leaving the main buildings at the base intact.
Nearly 55,000 people are under evacuation orders as of Monday evening, including nearly 53,325 people in El Dorado County, 61 in Amador County and 100 in Alpine County.
A map with current evacuation information can be found by clicking or tapping here.
Five people have been hurt, including three firefighters, Cal Fire reported.
El Dorado County has opened a Local Assistance Center to provide county and state services and provide resources and information to residents impacted by the Caldor Fire. The center is located at the Folsom Lake Community College El Dorado campus. Click or tap here for additional information.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.