Higher humidity and lighter winds continue to limit flame spread. Fire crews jumped at the opportunity to double down on burning and cut fire lines around Caldor Fire.
The fire was contained by bulldozers equipped with large blades, crews equipped with shovels, and hundreds of thousands of gallons worth of water and fire retardant. This helped to keep it from spreading to several thousand acres. It also prevented the use of helicopters that dropped hundreds of thousands of gallons.
At a Saturday briefing, Tim Burton, operations chief at the California Department of Forestry and Fire Prevention told firefighters that "the incident continues to look better and more perfect every day." "A large portion of that is due both to your hard work and the weather cooperating over the last week."
Although the northeastern section of the massive Sierra Nevada fire was still within a few hundred miles of South Lake Tahoe, and the Nevada state border, firefighters said that it had not made significant progress in several days and was not challenging containment lines in long areas.
With more than one third of the 334-square-mile (866-square-kilometer) blaze surrounded, authorities allowed more people back into their homes on the western and northern sides of the fires Friday afternoon.
There was no timetable for the 22,000 South Lake Tahoe residents who were evacuated days earlier. This decision was being made day by day by authorities.
Although the resort can accommodate up to 100,000 people over a weekend, it was almost empty just before the holiday weekend. There were only a few wandering bears.
The wildfire caused a significant blow to an economy heavily dependent on tourism, which was just starting to recover from the pandemic shutdowns.
Devin Middlebrook is the mayor pro-tem for South Lake Tahoe. "It's an enormous hit for our local business and the workers who rely upon a steady income to cover rent and food."
He stated that the city will be affected by the shutdown as well, since it receives most of its revenue from sales and hotel taxes to pay for police and fire service, as well as roads maintenance and road repairs.
The fire crews still had much work to do in the granite outcroppings, timber stands, and grasslands. Even with the better weather, wind gusts could still be "squirrel" and occasionally erratic when they hit the canyons and ridges of the region.
The fire, which started Aug. 14 and raged through densely forested, craggy areas, claimed the name of the road from which it began and has since destroyed almost 900 homes, businesses, and other buildings. It was still considered to be a threat for more than 30.000 structures.