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Caldor Fire prompts evacuations for south Lake Tahoe

Caldor Fire, which erupted Aug. 14, has since grown to more than 168,380 acres and was only 13% contained by Sunday night. Photo by Peter DaSilva/UPI
Caldor Fire, which erupted Aug. 14, has since grown to more than 168,380 acres and was only 13% contained by Sunday night. Photo by Peter DaSilva/UPI | License Photo

Aug. 30 (UPI) -- Officials late Sunday issued evacuation orders for eastern California near the Nevada border as the Caldor Fire threatened the Lake Tahoe basin.

Residents for sections of El Dorado and Alpine Counties were ordered Sunday night to evacuate immediately as the large Caldor Fire bore down on the region, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, better known as Cal Fire, said in a statement.

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As of 9 p.m., all south of the Lake Tahoe basin was under some form of evacuation warning or order.

Due to the expanded measures, Barton Memorial Hospital announced it was evacuating all patients.

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"Patients will be transferred to regional partner facilities & patients' families will be notified," it said via Twitter.

The Caldor fire, which ignited Aug. 14 east of Omo Ranch and south of the community of Grizzly Flats, has grown to more than 168,380 acres and was only 13% contained.

On Sunday, the fire rapidly spread due to a "significant increase in dynamic fire behavior," Cal Fire said.

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No deaths have been reported but there have been at least 5 people injured, 753 structures destroyed and another 39 damaged.

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A red flag warning alerting fire departments on the onset of potentially dangerous weathers has been issued by the National Weather Service from 2 p.m. Monday to 11 p.m. Tuesday due to gusty winds and low humidity for the eastern Sierra and western Nevada.

Cal Fire said more than 3,500 firefighters, 25 helicopters, 329 engines and dozens of dozers and water tenders have been dispatched to fight the fire.

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