The Caldor Fire is moving toward the Lake Tahoe resort region as spiking temperatures and rising winds are adding to the challenges crews attempting to extinguish the two week old blaze face, The Associated Press reported.
Caldor Fire spokesman Isaac Lake told the newswire that the temperatures are expected to rise into the triple digits for the next several days.
A red flag warning for critical fire conditions in the Northern Sierra region has been issued for the next two days, according to the AP.
“It is going to be the hottest day so far since the fire began, and unfortunately, probably the driest,” Lake said.
Thick smoke from the fire reached the Tahoe Basin, where tourists would normally have converged for the Labor Day holiday.
Caldor Fire was 19 percent contained and has burned almost 245 square miles. It has destroyed more than 600 structures and an additional 18,000 are being threatened.
California has seen more than a dozen wildfires summer, with the Dixie Fire destroying up to 700 homes and since July, the AP reported. It is about 48 percent contained.
More than 15,220 firefighters in the state have battled the wildfires, which destroyed up to 2,000 structures and forced thousands of citizens to evacuate.
The Department of Defense has sent 200 U.S. Army soldiers from neighboring Washington state to help battle the wildfires and eight Air Force C-130 aircraft were converted as air tankers that can dump water on the flames, the AP noted.