Crews rescue California city near Lake Tahoe; Forest fires caught


Crews rescue California city near Lake Tahoe; Forest fires caught

South Lake Tahoe remained smoky and largely deserted Wednesday after its teams battled a massive, wind-driven wildfire, leaving the California resort unscathed as flames crept toward Nevada.

The White House said US President Joe Biden has agreed to declare a state of emergency in California and ordered federal assistance to bolster local responders' efforts to fight the Kaldor fire.

The White House added that Biden's action allowed for coordination of disaster relief actions by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. 

The Caldor Fire in the Sierra Nevada mountain range threatens homes and businesses near Lake Tahoe due to the arid weather conditions.

But the forecast called for winds to recede significantly on Thursday and Friday, giving firefighters a chance to make further progress and consolidate their gains.

"Over the next couple of days, we'll see the weather change, and we'll see the fire behavior the point where we can get in there and do some good work," Steve Vollmer, a fire behavior analyst with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire), said. At a community briefing on Wednesday evening.

South Lake Tahoe, the largest city along the edge of North America's largest alpine lake in an area famous as an outdoor recreation center and world-class ski area, looked seriously in danger 24 hours ago.

Its 22,000 residents were evacuated Monday - they fled in a massive traffic jam - after fires unexpectedly surged atop a high line and engulfed communities in the lake basin.

Jason Hunter, a spokesman for Kaldor Incident Command, told Reuters by phone that they had "cleared the fire."

Hunter said that wind direction late Tuesday through Wednesday morning helped push the flames northeast rather than directly north toward Lake Tahoe, which straddles the California and Nevada borders.

"There has been a tremendous amount of heavy equipment and structural protection work along with those neighborhoods," he said.

Officials said that firefighters also got help Wednesday morning from an atmospheric inversion layer that settled over the Tahoe area overnight, trapping smoke close to the ground and putting out flames at lower altitudes.

0/Post a Comment/Comments