SOUTH LAKE TAHOE – Thousands of people who were chased from their homes at the south end of Lake Tahoe by a big wildfire may soon begin returning to their homes as of 3 p.m. Sunday. Fire managers say calmer winds and better weather helped them keep the flames under control over the past few days – keeping the fire at 43% contained. The fire is still a few miles out from the California-Nevada border. Firefighters maintained a “do not pass” fire line which caused visiting the Tahoe Basin mostly impossible. The Labor Day weekend was a big zero.
Luckily no homes have been lost on the eastern side of the fire nearest the lake. But as we all know the big blaze burned hundreds of homes on the west slopes of the Sierra. Only one firefighter lost his life fighting the blaze. The fire is nearly half-contained. But the blaze has destroyed nearly 1,300 homes and other buildings in its march to the east.
Weather scientists say fires are getting bigger and more deadly over the past ten years as Climate Change has made the West far warmer and drier over the past third of a century. And it’s likely to get worse unless the world comes to grips with reality.
There’s been no word on whether residents might be allowed to return home. Fire crews will continue to smother embers and mop up hot spots to make it safe for Tahoe area families to return home around South Lake Tahoe – “in the coming days” they said.
Meanwhile, Douglas County authorities urged residents to stay alert, saying the fire still has the potential to threaten more homes.