Before and after photos reveal the horror of California's Caldor Fire near Lake Tahoe

·2 min read

The Caldor Fire tearing through Northern California has forced evacuations of one of the state's most popular resort areas. Much of idyllic lake town South Lake Tahoe is under an evacuation order, and a red flag warning is in effect across the Northern Sierra region.

Firefighters have been battling the blaze for two weeks, and Gov. Gavin Newsom was forced to declare a state of emergency in El Dorado County earlier this month. The fire has burned over 276 square miles, destroyed more than 470 homes and injured at least five people, but is only about 15% contained.

Conditions on the ground have worsened since Sunday. Crews face low humidity and gusty winds as the fire races east and threatens to reach Lake Tahoe, but the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection expects full containment by Sept. 8.

More: Most of South Lake Tahoe ordered to evacuate as California's Caldor Fire edges closer and crews scramble to keep blaze at bay

More: Caldor Fire: South Lake Tahoe now under evacuation warning as crews struggle to slow blaze

In the wake of the blaze, before and after photos reveal charred buildings in abandoned communities and blackened forests beneath a smoke-filled sky.

Flames surround the Sierra-at-Tahoe Resort during the Caldor fire in Twin Bridges, California on August 30, 2021.
Flames surround the Sierra-at-Tahoe Resort during the Caldor fire in Twin Bridges, California on August 30, 2021.
Flames surround a chair lift at Sierra-at-Tahoe Resort, a skiing area, during the Caldor fire in Twin Bridges, Calif., on Aug. 29, 2021.
Flames surround a chair lift at Sierra-at-Tahoe Resort, a skiing area, during the Caldor fire in Twin Bridges, Calif., on Aug. 29, 2021.

Reach out to Chelsey Cox on Twitter at @therealco.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: California Caldor Fire photos near Lake Tahoe show ski resort damage

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting