SAM Magazine—South Lake Tahoe, Calif., Aug. 31, 2021—The Caldor Fire continues its push east and northeast, with Heavenly Ski Resort and Kirkwood Ski Resort sitting in its path.Both resort areas are under mandatory evacuation order.
“It has not made it to Heavenly, but that is the direction it is heading, and it is burning toward Kirkwood,” Dave Lauchner, an information officer for the Caldor Fire Incident, with Cal Fire Team 6, told SAM.
Lauchner, currently stationed in South Lake Tahoe, where crews and strike teams are assembled to provide structure protection to the city, said the fire is moving fast and winds in the valley are making the conflagration “unpredictable at this point.”
More than 3,900 firefighters have been deployed to the area. A Kirkwood parking lot is being utilized as a staging site for Cal Fire helicopters.
Sierra-at-Tahoe is no longer being used to stage firefighting equipment. The fire ripped through the resort Sunday night. Lauchner noted that while Sierra’s base area structures were still standing as of yesterday, the drive into the resort had been badly burned.
Spot fires continue to ignite at Sierra. At least one could be seen early this morning on the USFS webcam. “We are not out of the woods by any means,” said Lauchner, referring to the resort, “but we have crews in place that are putting [the spot fires] out.”
The Highway 88 and South Lake Tahoe edges of the fire have been very active, with Caldor growing another 14,347 acres in the last 24 hours from 177,260 to 199,607 acres burned.
Containment was up from 14 percent to 16 percent today, but Lauchner said that containment is coming primarily from the west side of the fire.
“It’s moving very fast,” said Lauchner. “It’s been tough to keep up with.”
In addition, Northstar California has temporarily closed starting today, Aug. 31, through Sept. 6 “to support the local efforts needed to fight the nearby Caldor Fire,” the resort tweeted. Heavenly closed its summer operations Aug. 21 for the rest of the season due to high fire risk.
SAM will provide updates as the situation evolves.