California's Caldor Fire nears South Lake Tahoe: What you need to know
California firefighters worked into the night to try and stop the growing Caldor Fire from reaching the resort city of South Lake Tahoe, as evacuation orders were expanded to border communities in Nevada.
- Evacuation orders were issued Tuesday for Nevada's Douglas County and California's Alpine county.
- The National Weather Service extended its red flag warning for the region through Wednesday, as ferocious winds persisted.
Driving the news: The blaze is blowing embers miles ahead of it, creating spot fires, which that allow flames to jump containment lines.
- There's a serious threat the fire could cross state lines, according to fire officials.
Zoom in: The fire, which ignited Aug. 14, jumped a major highway to reach Lake Tahoe Basin Monday night — hours after thousands of people were ordered to evacuate the city of South Lake Tahoe and surrounding communities.
- Traffic was gridlocked on Highway 50 Monday, as people fled the popular vacation destination.
Zoom out: Extreme fire conditions in California have prompted the state's Forest Service to close all national forests, effective just before midnight Tuesday through Sept. 17.
By the numbers: The wildfire is one of 13 large fires now burning in California.
- This is only the second wildfire on record in California to cross the Sierra Nevada Mountains going from west to east. The other such blaze, the Dixie fire, is still burning.
Our thought bubble, via Axios' Andrew Freedman: Climate change, along with decades of land management policies, is leading to larger wildfires in the West. It's also creating more frequent extreme fire weather conditions that lead to wildfires that are nearly impossible to contain.
- Nine out of 10 of California's largest wildfires on record have occurred since 2010.
- A sweeping UN-sponsored Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report published this month found that the connection between human emissions of greenhouse gases and global warming is "unequivocal."
Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.