'War zone': Caldor Fire evacuee recalls surreal experience fleeing his South Lake Tahoe home

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- A vacation haven for many during this time of year, South Lake Tahoe is nearly a ghost town as tens of thousands of residents and tourists have evacuated due to the Caldor Fire.

Longtime South Lake Tahoe resident Kevin Cooper joined ABC7's Getting Answers to share his experience fleeing from his own home.

"It was very, it was very surreal. Smoke, no sound, traffic," Cooper said.

RELATED: Video compilation shows terrifying evacuation situation in South Lake Tahoe
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The video posted above is a compilation of what evacuations in the Tahoe area look like, as the Caldor Fire moves closer and smoke chokes the region.

On Monday, Cooper told ABC7 he did not intend to leave his Echo Summit home, until the flames got closer. Just one day later, the fire quickly spread by the miles with the wind, inching into the Tahoe basin.

"When the fire came into the basement at Christmas Valley, it was less than seven miles away from our house," he said, " that's just over the pie shop or Twin Peaks from our house."

Cooper says having a prepared a plan A and B helped him and his wife evacuate quickly and more efficiently.

Watch the full interview by clicking the media player above.

Go here for the latest information and videos about the Caldor Fire crisis.

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