(LAKE TAHOE, Calif.) The Caldor Fire continued to tear through South Lake Tahoe early Tuesday morning following Monday's evacuation orders for the area.
The blaze continued to move in a northeasterly direction, according to fire officials, around the Echo Summit and into the Christmas Valley area. It burned through another 5,000 acres overnight Tuesday, bringing its total to 191,607 acres since it began Aug. 14. It is 15 percent contained, according to fire officials.
Packed highways and state routes filled with fleeing residents finally cleared Monday around 5 p.m. and Highway 89 northbound remained closed. Additionally, Highway 50 from Meyers to Pollock Pines will be closed indefinitely.
The limited containment and quick movement of the fire, combined with expected windy conditions over the next few days, have fire crews on high alert.
Gusts are expected to reach 30 miles per hour along the lake over the next two days and as high as 50 miles per hour on the peaks, according to the National Weather Service. Red-flag weather conditions were in place Tuesday morning and a warning will remain in place until 11 p.m.
Thankfully, temperatures in the area are not expected to rise above the 70s, making it slightly easier for fire crews.
While the temperatures don't pose a serious concern, the winds certainly do. Fire crews have struggled to keep containment on the Caldor Fire as heavy winds have pushed the blaze rapidly towards the Southern Lake Tahoe area.
The majority of South Lake Tahoe has been evacuated, according to fire officials who note that there are almost always residents who refuse to evacuate.
Currently, 3,700 firefighters are working on the Caldor Fire and officials indicated that more crews are on the way.
A community center to assist evacuees opened up at Folsom Lake Community College's El Dorado Campus in the fitness center building, located at 6699 Campus Drive in Placerville.
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