South Lake Tahoe is empty as the Caldor Fire marches closer each day

The smoky streets of South Lake Tahoe were mostly empty on Friday. 

The tourist destination usually welcomes throngs of visitors leading up to the Labor Day holiday. Instead, souvenir shops and restaurants were closed as the Caldor Fire continued to rage closer each day.

The Caldor Fire has raged in El Dorado County in Northern California and threatened the tourist enclave of Lake Tahoe and its surround area, straddling the California-Nevada border.

The fire began about 70 miles southwest of Lake Tahoe on August 14 and has grown to 143,941 acres as of Friday — it’s just 12% contained. 

Its smoke has choked the region’s skies ever since and is now about 12 miles away. On Thursday, evacuation warnings were issued for the nearby communities in Christmas Valley — the first warnings in the Lake Tahoe basin since 2007. 

On Friday, a day after tourism officials asked people to avoid South Lake Tahoe, any remaining tourists stayed inside and away from the smoke.

The smoke from the Caldor Fire buring nearby keeps tourist away at South Lake Tahoe on August 27, 2021.

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