Travel warning: ‘Do not attempt’ a Labor Day weekend getaway to Tahoe: officials

Wildfires

LAKE TAHOE (KRON) – The Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority and local authorities are recommending all visitors postpone any immediate travel plans to the area due to impacts from the Caldor Fire.

In a statement issued earlier this week, the Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority said it will provide return visitation information and updates on conditions.

At last check the Caldor Fire remained roughly 3 miles south of South Lake Tahoe, moving northeast toward the California-Nevada state line, said Henry Herrera, a battalion chief for Cal Fire.

The blaze has been burning toward Lake Tahoe from the southwest along California Highway 50, climbing over a Sierra Nevada summit and descending into the Tahoe Basin.

“The Lake Tahoe area is a popular destination for many Bay Area residents during Labor Day weekend,” the Alameda Police Department tweeted. “With dangerous fires and evacuations underway, please help keep the roadways clear for evacuees, emergency service, and resources. Do not attempt to drive to the area this week/weekend.”

The fire has burned more than 212,907 acres as of Friday and is 29% contained. A total 845 structures have been destroyed and 54 damaged.

Due to the Caldor Fire, the U.S. Forest Service earlier this week announced the closure of all major state parks until after Labor Day.

Thick smoke has enveloped the city of South Lake Tahoe, which is all but deserted at a time when it would normally be swarming with tourists. On Monday, roughly 22,000 residents and thousands of others from neighboring communities jammed the city’s main artery for hours after they were ordered to leave.

South Lake Tahoe city officials said only a handful of residents defied the evacuation order.

Nevada casino regulators said gambling was suspended at the Hard Rock Lake Tahoe, Montbleu Resort, Harrah’s and Harvey’s Lake Tahoe, where officials said their casinos were closed to the public but their hotels were housing firefighters and displaced employees.

On Wednesday, President Joe Biden issued a federal emergency declaration and ordered federal assistance to supplement state and local resources for firefighting efforts and relief for residents in four counties affected by the fire.

Maj. Gen. David Baldwin, adjutant general of California, said the state has also deployed more than 1,000 National Guard soldiers, airmen and sailors and 10 other states have sent around 1,250 additional Guard members. Many of those are providing air support, including 23 aircraft, some equipped with water buckets, others with systems that can drop fire retardant.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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