California wildfires: Caldor blaze threatens Tahoe

Good morning, California. It’s Tuesday, August 31.

Hectic evacuation process

Thousands of cars stuck in traffic so knotted that one South Lake Tahoe resident moved just 30 feet in two hours. Snow guns deployed to beat flames away from the Sierra-at-Tahoe ski resort. Smoke and ash so dense that the clarity of Lake Tahoe’s brilliant blue water — not to mention the balance of its delicate ecosystems — could be troubled for years to come, CalMatters’ Rachel Becker reports.

Those are just some of the scenes emerging from the Caldor Fire, which on Monday forced South Lake Tahoe’s 22,000 residents to evacuate as flames entered the basin — a scenario firefighters had long been working to avoid. The blaze is the second in state history to burn from one side of the Sierra Nevada mountain range to the other — a feat achieved earlier this month by the still-growing Dixie Fire. Gov. Gavin Newsom on Monday night declared a state of emergency and issued an executive order to support the state’s wildfire response and recovery efforts.