After the Caldor Fire's rapid growth, the streets of South Lake Tahoe, a popular tourist spot, were evacuated. This resulted in hours of gridlock traffic and forced thousands to flee the area. The town's main street was empty of motel parking lots.
Lorie Major, an evacuation center worker in Nevada, said that she had packed a bag and was already at the grocery store when the alert came through her phone.
"I had to remind myself that it was OK, Lorie, to get it all together. She said it Tuesday at the Douglas County Community & Senior Center, Gardnerville, Nevada.
She put on headphones and turned on "Fire on the Mountain" by the Grateful Dead. Then she walked back to her empty apartment, which was already vacant by neighbors. Koda, her miniature Australian shepherd, travelled 20 miles (32 km) by taxi from her South Lake Tahoe apartment, to a Minden hotel, Nevada.
The strong winds pushed the Caldor Fire down the slopes of the Tahoe Basin, igniting mountain homes and destroying two major highways. More firefighters arrived shortly after darkness fell Monday and were sent to the Christmas Valley area, which is about 10 miles (16 km) from South Lake Tahoe.
Last week, thick smoke stopped air firefighting operations from being conducted periodically. Dominic Polito, a firefighter, said that since then nearly twenty-three helicopters and three aircraft tankers have poured thousands of gallons water and retardant onto the fire.
The National Weather Service warned that there would be severe fire weather conditions Wednesday through Thursday due to high winds, low humidity and very dry fuel.
Residents just beyond the Nevada state line were warned to evacuate as flames moved towards South Lake Tahoe. Nevada Gov. On Monday, Steve Sisolak declared a state emergency due to the high possibility that the California fires would consume his state.
He stated that there is no timetable for when evacuations will be ordered at a Tuesday news conference in Carson City. Carson City is approximately 20 miles (32 km) away from the fire. He noticed that ash was falling onto his jacket.
"I'm standing right now and all the ash particles are on my jacket," said the governor. "This is serious folks. This is very serious.
Kelly Colvin, audit chief at the Nevada Gaming Control Board, stated that casino regulators were closely monitoring operations at four of the largest gambling properties in Stateline.
According to Michael Lawton, a board analyst and spokesman, gambling has been severely curtailed because of California's mandatory evacuations.