More evacuations ordered after California wildfire jumps highway

A fire in the Lake Tahoe, Calif., area jumped a highway and has forced additional evacuations and the cancellation of an intensive bike race, the Associated Press reported.

The Tamarack Fire, just south of the Lake Tahoe river, was zero percent contained as of Sunday afternoon, according to Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest. Officials from the national forest said that 517 personnel were working to contain the fire. 

The fire is now covering 18,000 acres. It’s just the latest fire to devastate the West in what increasingly is being seen as a year-long issue that is linked to the changing climate.

The wildfire had steadily continued to grow since lighting first sparked the wildfire on July 4, leading officials to also close a portion of Pacific Crest Trail between California State Route 88 and California State Route 4 on Sunday.

Officials also noted that thunderstorms that were predicted for Sunday afternoon could cause “erratic winds” near the wildfire.

“Forced by gusty winds, critically dry fuels and low relative humidity, the Tamarack Fire exhibited rapid rates of spread and an increase in fire behavior throughout the day,” officials noted on Saturday.

According to the Associated Press, the fire was headed toward Alpine County Airport after jumping a highway. Officials say that three structures have already been destroyed by the fire, the wire service reported.

Officials from Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest said that mandatory evacuations were added to Sierra Pines, Upper and Lower Manzanita, Crystal Springs, Alpine Village, Diamond Valley Road and Hung-a-lel-ti.

Additionally, a notice on the 103-mile intensive bike event Death Ride’s website said its event had been cancelled. Organizers asked riders to leave the area, the AP noted. The event was cancelled last year due to COVID-19 and this year’s event would have marked its 40th anniversary.

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