Crews battling the Caldor Fire in El Dorado County face yet another day of dangerous fire weather conditions as Governor Gavin Newsom calls the blaze the state's number one priority. Westerly to southwesterly winds could push the wildfire even closer to South Lake Tahoe. The entire city of South Lake Tahoe has been evacuated, forcing some 22-thousand residents to flee their homes; CHP calling the evacuations successful. Forecasters say firefighters will be challenged with gusty winds and low relative humidity. Gusts are currently 20 to 30-miles-per-hour and that could potentially top closer to the 40 to 50-miles-per-hour range in the highest elevations. A Red Flag Warning remains in effect for the Sierra through 11 p.m. Wednesday. With fifteen active wildfires raging across the state, the U.S. Forest Service is shutting down access to all 20 million acres of California's national forests for two weeks, starting Wednesday.
Fire crews are stationed in Christmas Valley and Meyer to defend homes against the flames after the fire jumped Hwy 89 and is approaching more populated areas. A total of 669 structures have been destroyed, but Cal Fire has deployed more than 3,900 first responders to the front lines, along with 25 helicopters, 415 fire engines and 92 bulldozers. Governor Newsom recently declared a state of emergency in Alpine and Placer Counties because of the ongoing Caldor Fire. Newsom says he plans to visit the Caldor Fire areas on Wednesday. The Caldor Fire has been burning for 17 days now through El Dorado and Amador Counties and is just 16% contained with nearly 192,000 acres burned.