South Lake Tahoe Residents Can Return As Fire Threat Eases

FILE - In this Sept. 1, 2021, file photo, a firefighter lights a backfire to stop the Caldor Fire from spreading near South Lake Tahoe, Calif. An unidentified firefighter has died of an illness while assigned to one of California's largest wildfires, authorities said Sunday, Sept. 5, 2021, marking the first death in a season that has seen blazes destroy thousands of buildings and force entire towns to flee. Edwin Zuniga with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said he couldn't provide other details on the death. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)

(AP) — Tens of thousands of people forced to flee South Lake Tahoe because of a California wildfire could begin to return to their homes. State fire officials say evacuation orders for the area were reduced to warnings as of 3 p.m. Sunday. Some 22,000 people had been forced to flee the popular resort and nearby areas last week as the Caldor Fire roared toward it. But authorities say calmer winds and better weather helped them keep the flames in check in the past few days. The fire remains a few miles outside of the resort on the California-Nevada border, which normally would have been packed for the Labor Day weekend. Fire officials also say no homes have been lost on the eastern side of the fire nearest the lake, although the huge blaze has burned hundreds of homes further west.


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