California: Thousands evacuated in tourist area threatened by fire

South Lake Tahoe | Thousands of people have been ordered to evacuate the south shore of Lake Tahoe, California, a tourist area threatened by fires that have ravaged the area for more than two weeks.

It’s called Kaldor Fire, and the forest fire has already traveled more than 700 km2Several hundred buildings were destroyed and thick smoke emanated from northern California.

Thanks to persistent winds and a severe drought, the flames continued to advance Monday toward South Lake Tahoe, a tourist town on the shores of North America’s largest alpine lake, on the border with Nevada.

“Conditions and fuels are historic,” Fire Chief Jeff Vick told the San Francisco Chronicle. We will put out this fire. But it won’t be today. “

The Kaldor Fire is just one of dozens of fires ravaging the chronically drought-stricken western United States, exacerbated by the effects of climate change. More than 7000 km2 of vegetation has already burned out, more than double the average for this time of year.

Tens of thousands of residents had to flee the flames, often without knowing when they could return or even if they would find their homes intact.

“There was a knock on the door last night around 10 p.m. to warn me to get ready,” South Lake Tahoe resident Corinne Coppell told the Sacramento Bee. “And this morning at 10 am the police came to ask us to leave. She added.

In total, about 22,000 people were ordered to evacuate to the area on Monday morning.

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An AFP reporter saw an endless stream of vehicles trying to leave South Lake Tahoe, parked, and shock-absorbing.

Among those drivers was Mel Smothers, 74, who patiently dealt with his troubles by playing the violin near his car. He’s been living in Tahoe since the 1970s, but he’s never been kicked out of his home by fire until now.

“With these recent fires, Lake Tahoe has changed. It will be like that every year from now on,” the septuagenarian, interviewed by AFP, laments.

On Sunday, bonfires roamed the slopes of Twin Bridges, where skiers usually indulge in the joys of winter sports. Snow cannons were used in an attempt to moisten the ground and thus keep the flames out.

California Fire Chief Tom Porter said the fire lasted about 80 kilometers2 Overnight when the cloud cover dissipated. “When the air comes out, he removes the lid from the pot of boiling water,” he told the Sacramento Bee, which sounds like a stream of air.

“It’s the same with the fire,” he explained.

To the north, the giant Dixie Fire continued to expand, having submerged over 3,000 kilometers2 Since he passed away six weeks ago.

On Monday morning, in California alone, more than 15,000 firefighters were battling the ground against about fifteen large-scale wildfires.

Their number and intensity have doubled in recent years in the western United States, with a marked lengthening of the fire season.

According to experts, this phenomenon is especially associated with global warming: an increase in temperature, an increase in heat waves and a decrease in precipitation in places form an ideal incendiary combination.

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