Wildfires burn in the mountains of Northern California, Monday, August 30, forcing the resort city of South Lake Tahoe to evacuate.
READ MORE: Fire officials ordered more evacuations around the Tahoe Basin as a two-week old blaze encroached on the threatened mountain towns surrounding glimmering Lake Tahoe.
By nightfall, all residents on the California side of the Lake Tahoe Basin were warned to evacuate the region, after fire officials had stressed for days that protecting the area was their top firefighting priority.
"Today's been a rough day and there's no bones about it," Jeff Marsoleis, forest supervisor for El Dorado National Forest, said Sunday evening. He said a few days prior he thought crews could halt the Caldor Fire's eastern progress, but "today it let loose."
Flames burned through mountains just a few miles southwest of the Tahoe Basin, where thick smoke sent tourists packing at a time when summer vacations would usually be in full swing ahead of the Labor Day weekend.
"To put it in perspective, we've been seeing about a half-mile of movement on the fire's perimeter each day for the last couple of weeks, and today, this has already moved at 4 kilometers on us, with no sign that it's starting to slow down," said Cal Fire Division Chief Erich Schwab.