SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. - Kelsey Adams was away for work when the evacuation orders were placed for her home of South Lake Tahoe.
“Having to wake up and have basically every person I know asking me how I am and then checking CAL FIRE and seeing that all the evacuation lines had moved, I decided to come back,” Adams explained. “Just trying to get there was met with every roadblock you could possibly imagine.”
Struggling to get back, Adams finally reached Stateline, Nevada.
That’s when she saw the incredible backup of people trying to evacuate.
“Right before Stateline was just at a dead stop,” she continued. “People were just sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic for hours.”
Seeing the sheer number of cars and people trying to evacuate, Adams couldn’t help but think of the images she has seen from the Camp Fire in 2018.
“Tahoe is definitely not built to have 26,000 people leave all at once,” Adams said. “I’m sure everybody fears the getting stuck in a one-lane like Paradise where people’s lives were lost. There is that panic towards the back end and I’m sure people coming from Christmas Valley and Meyers who are still trying to leave are stuck in traffic.”
But Adams knows this is all to avoid what happened during the Angora Fire in 2007 where fire crews were struggling to get to the fire line as people were evacuating on a two-lane road.
At the end of it all, Adams is thankful to be safe and have a supportive community around her.
She added that aside from helping evacuees through donations, offer people a place to stay or to house their animals because right now, thousands are struggling and looking for options.
The Caldor Fire has now burned more than 186,000 acres and is only 15% contained.
It’s taken about 40 homes and destroyed more than 650 total buildings.
The U.S. Forest Service also announced it will close all National Forests in the state of California through at least September 17th, citing public safety reasons.
For all information relating to the Caldor Fire, click here.