California wildfires: Evacuation orders issued as flames rage – ‘Today has been difficult.’
CALIFORNIA residents have been issued with yet another evacuation notice as flames rage throughout the country’s most populous state.
After the Caldor Fire encroached on the Tahoe Basin on Sunday, a new warning was issued to the 22,000 inhabitants of South Lake Tahoe. The red-flag warning from South Lake Tahoe has contributed to a total of more than 41,000 Californians being ordered to evacuate.
While mandatory evacuation orders are common in California, the last time one was placed on residents of South Lake Tahoe was in 2007.
The statement was made late Sunday night, after local firemen had battled the two-week-long conflagration.
A dense plume of smoke sent would-be vacationers scurrying just as they were about to enjoy their Labor Day weekend.
“At this time, we are prepared should an evacuation become necessary,” said city spokesperson Lindsey Baker to CNN. “However, the firefighters on the front lines are doing incredible work to secure the perimeter of the fire, and our hope is that they will be able to prevent the fire from encroaching any further into the Tahoe Basin.”
The California Fire Department released information regarding the number of people who had been evacuated yesterday.
Over 32,000 people have been evacuated across the Golden State, which is America’s largest state.
“Today has been a hard day, no bones about it,” El Dorado National Forest forest supervisor Jeff Marsoleis said.
“To put it in perspective, we’ve been seeing a half-mile movement on the fire’s perimeter each day for the last couple of weeks, and today, this has already moved at 2.5 miles on us, with no sign that it’s starting to slow,” said Eric Schwad, California’s Fire Division Chief.
Patients at the Barton Memorial Hospital in South Lake Tahoe are being evacuated, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
Much of California is currently enveloped in flames.
On August 14, the fire broke out for the first time in California.
After burning through nearly 245 square miles – an area larger than Leeds – about two-fifths of the flames were apparently restrained.
Over 21,000 structures have been endangered and 472 dwellings have been damaged.
Around 700 people are believed to be taking refuge in 16 shelters across California.