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Photos: Caldor Fire still a threat despite improving weather

Updated September 2, 2021 - 10:52 pm

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — Better weather on Thursday helped the battle against a huge California forest fire threatening communities around Lake Tahoe, but commanders warned firefighters to keep their guard up against continuing dangers.

Strong winds that drove the Caldor Fire east through high elevations of the Sierra Nevada for days had faded after forcing thousands of people to flee, but very localized gusts were likely and the forest remained extremely dry even though humidity levels had improved slightly, officials said at a morning briefing.

“We lost the winds aloft,” incident meteorologist Jim Dudley said. “It’s a good day today to not have gusty winds up on the ridges. What we are going to have are terrain-driven winds” that happen as the sun heats the ground.

The Caldor Fire covered more than 328 square miles and was 25% contained early Thursday. Its northeast tip was south of the city of South Lake Tahoe and nearing the California-Nevada state line.

— The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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