SOUTH LAKE TAHOE (CBS13) – A fire burning in El Dorado County prompts evacuations and road closures.
Highway 89 remains closed Friday night, and likely through the weekend, north of South Lake Tahoe – and it could be days before residents are allowed to go home.
Wicked winds howled into the early hours, snapping hundred foot trees like twigs. It wasn’t long before neighbors along Highway 89 heard a knock at the door.
“Could see the sheriff and we knew we were being evacuated,” said Karen Raucher of South Lake Tahoe.
Karen and Bob Raucher were up and out of their cabin in just three minutes.
“We looked out our window and we could see huge fire in the distance and the big glow of the fire. If you look down, we were close enough we could actually see the flames,” she said.
Five hundred homes were evacuated, sending neighbors fleeing and dozens of crews hauled in to fight this fire spreading in every which direction.
“We’ve been able to curtail it and stop the forward progress,” said Cal Fire Captain Steve McLean.
The flames came right up along side some homes on Highway 89 and damaged decks, but crews were able to stop the fire from spreading. Their main concern is this wind that just won’t quit.
“All these dead trees in the area are now being blown over by the high winds, 45 mph winds that are consistent, 70 mph clocked on the ridge tops. It’s a very dangerous situation right now,” he said.
Friday night, Cal Fire said 80 percent of the fire has been contained and 210 acres burned.
An evacuation center has been established at the South Lake Tahoe Recreation Center located at 1180 Rufus Allen Blvd.