Caldor Fire erupted in Northern California, prompting evacuation orders and warnings in Lake Tahoe Basin Sunday night.
All patients were being evacuated from Barton Memorial Hospital in South Lake Tahoe
“Patients will be transferred to regional partner facilities & patients’ families will be notified,” the hospital said in a tweet Sunday night. “Barton’s Emergency Department is still open for urgent health care needs.”
Five people were injured in the fire, which has damaged more than 650 structures since August 14th by Cal Fire.
Cal Fire stated in a press release that an evacuation order was issued for parts of El Dorado and Alpine counties. There were also evacuation warnings for other areas.
Cal Fire issued an alert Sunday indicating that the warning, which indicates there is “a possible threat to life or property”, was extended for additional areas of the basin.
The alert stated that those who need additional time should evacuate or have pets or livestock should flee immediately.
Victor Babbitt is a Meyers resident in El Dorado County. He said that despite not being given a formal notice, it was a blessing to have been able to leave when he did.
“I was given a warning and that was all I got. No one came to the house,” he told. “The neighbors were all gone… so we packed up everything we could and headed off.”
South Lake Tahoe requested that residents be ready for evacuations.
Lindsey Baker, a city spokesperson, stated that “the most important thing people could do now is to get their go-bags prepared and have a plan to evacuate in the event of an evacuation order getting extended.”
Clive Savacool (fire chief for South Lake Tahoe), said that the call to prepare came after the fire was active on the previous day. Worse conditions were expected this week.
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Savacool stated that the Caldor Fire had made a significant jump in the past few hours. This has had a huge impact on the community as well as the expansion of evacuations.
“It’s because these winds and the low humidity and low moisture make it extremely dangerous for this fire, so that’s why it’s been growing so quickly.”
According to Cal Fire, Sunday saw a “significant rise in dynamic fire behavior leading to rapid fire spread.”
Inciweb’s incident report on the Caldor Fire said the increase in spread was due largely to wind gusts between 25-35 mph and relative humidity between 10-15%