With firefighters unable to contain the Caldor Fire, which has burned more than 177,000 acres, residents of South Lake Tahoe and El Dorado County have been forced to evacuate.
Residents have posted videos of apocalyptic images of destroyed homes and forest land, describing “the tragic losses between Camp Sacramento and the Sierra Tahoe turn off” along Highway 50 driving east.
Residents posted videos in which police warnings and sirens can be heard, describing Tahoe as a “ghost town.”
More than 50,000 residents of El Dorado County, including 22,000 in South Lake Tahoe, have been ordered to evacuate.
By Monday afternoon, the evacuation route northbound on Highway 50 toward Nevada was a many miles long traffic jam. Along one of the main routes to the south end of the lake, multiple homes were burned to the foundation.
The Caldor Fire was moving between half a mile and 2.5 miles a day, Cal Fire reported. It has been active for 16 days and as of late Monday, was only 14% contained.
Evacuation orders for El Dorado County include east of Pioneer Trail between Larch and Al Tahoe, including the area of Heavenly Ski Resort out to the Alpine County Line and the Nevada State line on the East, Cal Fire reported.
The mandatory evacuation zone extends from near Tahoma off Highway 89 on the southwest California side of Lake Tahoe around to Stateline at the Nevada border.
The El Dorado Sheriff’s Office said the evacuation was issued as a precaution.
Cal Fire created a website with a list of resources to help residents impacted by the Caldor Fire.
On Monday, four major casinos in South Lake Tahoe were also closed: Harrah’s Lake Tahoe, Harvey’s, Hard Rock Lake Tahoe and Montbleu Casino Resort.
Barton Memorial Hospital was also closed “due to the ongoing threat of the Caldor Fire,” the hospital reported. “All patients have been transferred to regional partner facilities.”
Nearby Douglas and Placer counties had not yet issued evacuation orders.
In Nevada, Gov. Steve Sisolak declared a state of emergency Monday afternoon.
Monday night, Sisolak thanked local leaders, firefighters and first responders across Nevada who answered the call for help from the Nevada Department of Emergency Management to assist with the Caldor Fire. Clark County Fire Department sent firefighters from Las Vegas to help in northern Nevada.
A Clark County task force was also sent help to FEMA in New Orleans to assist with recovery efforts caused by Hurricane Ida.
Evacuation shelters include Truckee Veterans Hall on High Street and Douglas in Truckee, Calif., County Community Center on Waterloo Lane in Gardnerville, Nevada, and Carson City Community Center on E. William St. Fuji Park on Old Clear Creek Rd. in Carson City is sheltering livestock and small animals.
On Monday, the Nevada Department of Transportation closed westbound U.S. 50. It also closed Kingsbury Grade and southbound State Route 28.
This article was originally posted on Caldor Fire forces residents of South Lake Tahoe to evacuate