Updated Sep 1, 2021 - Science

California's Caldor Fire nears South Lake Tahoe: What you need to know

Flames consume multiple homes as the Caldor fire pushes into the Echo Summit area, California on August 30
Flames consume multiple homes as the Caldor fire pushes into the Echo Summit area, California on Monday. Photo: Josh Edelson/AFP via Getty Images

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.

The latest: The wildfire had grown to more than 199,600 acres and was 18% contained, as it threatened almost 34,000 homes and other structures in the area, per the Sacramento Bee.

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.

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.
  • 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."

Go deeper... In photos: Caldor Fire intensifies, threatens homes near South Lake Tahoe

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.

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