Devastating Photos Show The Caldor Fire Burning Near Lake Tahoe

The fire continued to threaten communities around Lake Tahoe on Tuesday.

When the Caldor fire started on Aug. 14 in Northern California, no one expected that two weeks later its flames would cross the Sierra Nevada mountains, threatening the communities and beloved tourist attractions around Lake Tahoe. But as temperatures rise around the world due to climate change, massive and destructive wildfires have become California's new normal. A dangerous mix of embers, wind, and dry land enabled the wildfire to consume more than 191,000 acres; South Lake Tahoe, a city of 22,000 people, faced a tense backlog of traffic on Monday as people were forced to evacuate. As fire crews worked through the night — using retardant, water sources, and even snowblowers from a local resort — the blaze resisted containment, leaving locals and firefighters unsure how much more it will progress.

These photos show the unrelenting power of the fire and the community it is impacting.

A lone chimney stands in a forest, surrounded by rubble from a destroyed structure
A massive cloud of smoke fills the sky over a forested ridge
A man plays violin and leans against his Jeep in front of several cars in bumper-to-bumper traffic under a smoky sky
A cylindrical machine on wheels blows clouds over a dirt-covered hill
Ten firefighters in uniform sit and stand on a moving truck under a hazy sky
A firefighter in uniform sits on the back of a truck
A firefighter stands on burning embers at night
Two firefighters wearing gear and headlamps work at night in a burning forest
Flames taller than pine trees on a hillside shoot into the sky
A uniformed firefighter stands in a meadow and pours gas onto a fire
A fire blazes on a hillside in the background behind a barn with a US flag on the side
Flames violently destroy a structure
A tattered US flag burns at night
Three firefighters in uniform stand near a brush fire and converse