A letter from the front lines of the Caldor Fire
Michael Habicht, founder of the Tahoe Climbing Coalition and an ER doctor in Tahoe, sent us an update of what’s happening in the area. He’s now safely in Reno, assisting at a hospital there.
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All of South Lake has evacuated. There are lines of cars out of town for hours. Fortunately the fire is still mostly at the crest and people are moving out safely.
Lovers Leap has burned and it will likely take years of effort to restore the trails. The town of Strawberry has been mostly saved but many cabins to the east and uphill have been lost.
Phantom Spires has probably also burned, based on the fire maps.
Lake Audrain Boulders have likely burned east of the Sierra Tahoe ski resort. The resort itself has burned too. I am unsure about structures but a large portion of the trails and lift lines have burned.
Berkeley camp has likely burned based on the FLIR cameras I have been watching.*
Right now, the fire is on top of Echo Summit and is marching down into Christmas Valley, Luther Rock and Luther Spires.
The most important thing is to keep people safe. The entire region is currently under stress and there are no emergency services. The only full service hospital in Tahoe has evacuated all of their patients and the ER is closed. Most of the regional EMS, police, fire, and SAR is either evacuated or completely occupied with the fire.
The majority of the crags in Tahoe are on Forest Service lands, currently closed to the public. This is not the time to plan a trip to Tahoe of any kind (North Lake or South Lake).
Please, be patient and keep following us (the TCC), as well as other local climbing organizations. We will be helping with the cleanups, asking for your time or funding to rebuild trails and replace hardware. We will be very excited to announce when the rocks are ready, the forest is open, and the time to climb again has come.
Founder and Board Member
Tahoe Climbing Coalition
*Editor’s note: We have confirmed that, as of September 1, no damage has been done to Berkeley’s Echo Lake Camp.