Raging Caldor Fire forces thousands to leave South Lake Tahoe, but some residents not going yet

ByCornell W. Barnard KGO logo
Tuesday, August 31, 2021
Some South Lake Tahoe residents wait to evacuate Caldor Fire
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Despite evacuation orders due to the raging Caldor Fire, some South Lake Tahoe residents say they're going to wait it out a little while longer.

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. (KGO) -- Thousands of Lake Tahoe residents have been told they must leave their homes as the Caldor Fire moves closer.

Police in South Lake Tahoe were telling neighbors to leave Monday. As the Caldor Fire moved closer, officers were going door to door.

RELATED: Caldor Fire flames enter Tahoe Basin as thousands evacuate

"Sorry to bother you, this is an evacuation warning," said a police officer through a video doorbell system.

The mandatory evacuation created epic traffic jams on all roads leading out.

"The town's crazy, we're trying to get out safe," said one evacuee.

WATCH: Videos show terrifying evacuation situation in South Lake Tahoe

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.

"We cleared the property of gas and power tools," said Dave Painter.

Painter, from Novato, evacuated his vacation house at Camp Richardson near Emerald Bay. The house has been in the family since the 1940's.

"Hopefully the fire doesn't get near us, it it gets to Camp Richardson, it's got nowhere to go it's got to stay and burn, I pray to god it doesn't happen," Painter said.

RELATED: Caldor Fire: Lake Tahoe weather 'not cooperating'

"At this time, we'll watch, wait and see, we have an egress plan," said Kevin Cooper.

Longtime Tahoe resident Kevin Cooper says for now, he's not going. He lives below Echo Summit. But if flames get close, Kevin says he'll be ready to leave.

"This is a big fire for Tahoe, it's definitely a scary situation," he said.

South Lake Tahoe residents are praying that firefighters will keep their beloved community safe.

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