Caldor Fire: Evacuation warning 'possible' for South Lake Tahoe as massive blaze moves closer

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. (KGO) -- More than 18,000 homes are threatened by the fast-moving Caldor Fire burning in El Dorado County.

CALFIRE told ABC7 the flames are burning roughly 13 miles south of South Lake Tahoe. The famous mountain resort town is now bracing for evacuation warnings.

RELATED: Crews struggle to stop Caldor Fire bearing down on Lake Tahoe

"How likely do you think it is South Lake Tahoe could face a mandatory evacuation order tonight?" ABC7's Stephanie Sierra asked.

"I don't believe that will happen tonight. The risk is low. But there's potential," said Henry Herrera, a public information officer with CALFIRE.

"Anything's possible."

VIDEO: Lake Tahoe surrounded by thick, apocalyptic layer of smoke from California wildfires
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Video shows the Lake Tahoe area submerged in a thick, apocalyptic layer of smoke as wildfire conditions close Highway 50 and force local resorts and beaches to shut down.



Herrera has been on the front lines of the Caldor Fire for nearly the past two weeks. He expects the next three days could be the worst.

"It's going to be a lot hotter this weekend, the wind has continued to align with the canyons burning mainly in the northeast direction which concerns us," said Herrera.

RELATED: Climate report details 3 factors fueling CA's wildfire crisis and increase in 'fire weather days'

CALFIRE says the northeast corridor, which includes the community of Strawberry (roughly 10 miles from South Lake), faces the biggest threat.

"Where is the biggest threat right now?" Sierra asked.

"The biggest concern right now is this northeast corridor," said Herrera.

CALFIRE issued new evacuation warnings along Highway 50 East towards the community of Meyers, Echo Summit, and Strawberry, where most of the active fire is burning.



Fire crews expect light winds overnight but remain concerned about low humidity levels and excessive heat forecasted through Monday.

The Caldor Fire has burned nearly 144,000 acres -- or 225 square miles (583 square kilometers) -- and remained only 12% contained early Friday.

RELATED: Climate report details 3 factors fueling CA's wildfire crisis and increase in 'fire weather days'

Retired fire district captain Joe McAvoy, who lost his own home in the fire, said wildfires larger than 100,000 acres were once-in-a-lifetime events in his career. Not anymore.

"Now it seems like they're all 100,000 acres," McAvoy said. "It's way more extreme. Now (fires) are 100,000 acres and it's like, 'Oh, yeah, big deal.' You know, it's every fire."


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