Tourism officials in South Lake Tahoe have asked potential visitors to the area to postpone their trips due to heavy smoke and danger from the nearby Caldor Fire.
The Caldor Fire, which has grown to 149,684 acres in the Sierra, has closed Highway 50 and brought unhealthy smoke to the region as locals make plans in case the fire moves into South Lake Tahoe. The haze of smoke has made outdoor activities nearly impossible and emergency officials are attempting to educate the public on the potential problems of evacuating the area with limited roadways running in and out of the city.
“Now is not the time to visit South Lake Tahoe due to the Caldor Fire,” wrote the City of South Lake Tahoe on social Media. “Smoke has filled the area with unhealthy air, and if evacuations need to take place the roads will need to be clear for residents.”
A major influx of firefighters and heavy equipment including air tankers to drop retardant, plus the forecast for calmer winds, have lent a guarded sense of optimism following 12 days of aggressive spread. When and as appropriate, the Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority will provide return visitation information and updates on conditions.
“Our thoughts and gratitude go out to all the firefighters and first responders working tirelessly to keep our communities safe. And our hearts and hospitality go out to the people who’ve lost their homes,” said Carol Chaplin, CEO and president of the Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority. “The current priority is the health and safety for our community and assisting firefighting efforts.”
Outdoor events on the South Shore have been canceled or postponed due to the unhealthy air caused by smoke. Eric Church, Dierks Bently and Phish have all moved their Lake Tahoe shows.