SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. (CNN) – There is some good news for crews battling the massive Caldor Fire burning in the Lake Tahoe area. Favorable weather conditions are helping them gain control of the flames. Containment has climbed to 29%.
While some evacuees have been allowed to return to their homes, the fire is keeping both homeowners and tourists away from a popular Labor Day weekend travel spot.
Crews say they’re more hopeful that their efforts will keep the flames from reaching the iconic Lake Tahoe, but their efforts are nowhere near over as they work to keep the flames away from the tens of thousands of businesses and homes that surround it.
Leroy Valdez with the Squaw Valley Fire Department said, “It’s always in the back of your mind. You live in the mountains you kind of have to prepare for that.”
The destructive flames have charred more than 200,000 acres and destroyed over 800 structures with roughly 32,000 others still threatened.
Evacuation orders are still in place for thousands of people but some were allowed to return to their homes Thursday.
A turn in the weather this weekend is helping crews gain the upper hand. They expect lighter winds this weekend after several days of gusting winds and more humidity in the air, all providing much-needed relief.
But conditions are still challenging in the remote forests southeast of the lake where rugged terrain is not safe to put crews on the fire’s edge.