SOUTH LAKE TAHOE (CBS13) — The effort to stop the Caldor Fire from moving into South Lake Tahoe has transformed the city from one of tourism to one that is strictly accommodating first-responders.
Harrah’s, Mont Bleu, and Lake Tahoe Resort have all asked evacuees and guests to move to other locations so that rooms can be used for law enforcement and firefighters. And firefighters also set up a new base camp at the Heavenly Ski Resort.READ MORE: Sacramento City Unified Creates New Position To Combat Racism On Campuses
In the Heavenly parking lot, crews on forklifts could be seen unloading boxes of sleeping bags and coffee makers. And a trailer full of food sat in the parking lot ready to unpack.
It’s a tourist attraction turned into a firefighting nerve center.
Tahoe Douglas Fire District Fire Marshal Eric Guevin was at Heavenly as the transformation started.
“So this is going to be a little city on the hill here,” Guevin said. “I think what we’re seeing is more bodies are coming to this fire, and we’re gonna need the resources to take care of them.”READ MORE: Wet December Storms Will Allow California Water Districts To Get More Supply Than Planned
Lake Tahoe hotel casinos are also ready to house more first responders. Harrahs and Mont Blue had shuttles pick up guests and evacuees to drive them to Reno. The hotels either arranged for rooms at other properties, or at the Reno evacuation shelter.
Paul Cella was outside the Mont Bleu waiting for a ride.
“We’ll see what happens,” Cella said. “We’ve been waiting quite some time. We haven’t seen any word on whether it’s a shuttle or how they’re going to run us.”
Empty neighborhood streets surrounded the resorts and casinos. Homeowners all followed evacuation orders.
“So it’s kind of a tight situation, watching our hometown burn like this,” Cella said.MORE NEWS: Teen, 16, Arrested After Several Gunshots Detected In South Sacramento
As wildfire spreads around it, South Lake Tahoe for now is only home to first-responders.