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Tahoe Residents Flee Wildfire

People evacuate Lake Tahoe on Monday as the Caldor Fire approaches.
Associated Press

People evacuate Lake Tahoe on Monday as the Caldor Fire approaches.

Smoke fills the air and vehicles clog the roads near Lake Tahoe as residents flee the approaching Caldor Fire.

The huge, fast-moving wildfire prompted emergency declarations and evacuation orders in Nevada and California.

“This year, we've heard about the megadrought affecting the entire West; in the western Sierra, where forests are already overgrown, that also means trees burn more easily than they normally would,” said Bert Johnson, a Reno-based reporter for Nevada Public Radio. “And we're also dealing with red flag warnings this week. That means high winds, low moisture, high temperatures, and all that makes it really hard to get a handle on this fire.”

New firefighters arrived Monday evening and were dispatched immediately to protect homes in the area. Containment of the fire is at least a week away, officials said.

The fire has burned nearly 200,000 acres and destroyed 500 homes and several businesses since it started Aug. 14.

Bert Johnson, reporter, Nevada Public Radoi

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Bert is a reporter and producer based in Reno, where he covers the state legislature and stories that resonate across Nevada. He began his career in journalism after studying abroad during the summer of 2011 in Egypt, during the Arab Spring. Before he joined Nevada Public Radio and Capital Public Radio, Bert was a contributor at KQED and the Sacramento News & Review. He was also a photographer, video editor and digital producer at the East Bay Express.