SOUTH LAKE TAHOE (CBS13) – Highway 50 is still closed due to the Caldor Fire and now firefighters are trying to keep the fire from reaching the Lake Tahoe Basin.

Cal Fire says the fire is knocking on Tahoe’s door, but they hope it doesn’t burn that far.

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“It is knocking on the door to the Lake Tahoe basin,” he said. “We have all efforts in place to keep it out of the basin, but we do need to also be aware that is a possibility based on the way the fires have been burning,” said Chief Thom Porter, director of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, said during a briefing Monday.

While there is no current threat to the area, firefighters are working with Tahoe officials to make contingency plans, should the fire make a run to the east.

“Evacuation warnings are not into the Tahoe Basin yet. They’re not into South Lake Tahoe, so we don’t want to have anybody panic,” said South Lake Tahoe Fire Department Chief Clive Savacool. “We just want to keep up to date with constant information — accurate information from reliable sources.”

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Air quality is a serious concern in the area. Air quality in the Tahoe Basin Tuesday morning measured about 373 on the AQI scale, which is considered hazardous.

The Caldor Fire, growing explosively at times, has scorched about 184 square miles (476 square kilometers) and destroyed at least 455 homes since breaking out Aug. 14 in the Sierra Nevada southwest of Lake Tahoe.

Just 9% contained and a threat to more than 17,000 structures, the Caldor Fire has become the nation’s No. 1 priority for firefighting resources.

Overall, more than 14,000 firefighters were battling a dozen major wildfires in California on Tuesday, according to Cal Fire.

Nationally, 92 large fires were burning in a dozen states, according to the National Interagency Fire Center, in Boise, Idaho.

Climate change has made the West warmer and drier in the past 30 years and will continue to make the weather more extreme and wildfires more destructive, according to scientists.

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