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KUNR Today: Evacuation Orders Reduced In South Lake Tahoe, Forest Closures Dampen Outdoor Activities

A brown sign with yellow lettering that reads “Plumas National Forest.” The sign and ground are covered in a dried pink liquid, and there’s a paved road next to the sign. Both the sign and road are surrounded by thick, forested trees.
Lucia Starbuck
KUNR Public Radio
A sign for Plumas National Forest covered in fire retardant for protection from the Dixie Fire, taken along Highway 89 near Almanor Drive West, Calif., south of Lake Almanor, on Aug. 10, 2021.

Here are the local news headlines for the morning of Tuesday, Sept. 7, 2021.

Caldor Fire Evacuation Orders Reduced In South Lake Tahoe
By KUNR Staff

CAL FIRE announced South Lake Tahoe evacuation orders around the city limits and north of the city were downgraded to warnings Sunday afternoon.

According to the Associated Press, 22,000 residents of South Lake Tahoe can return to the city under the reduced status; however, fire activity remains in the Sierra Nevada and south of the lake.

The Caldor Fire has burned more than 216,000 acres and is 49 percent contained as of Tuesday morning.

Visit KUNR’s Caldor Fire blog for continued updates.

Pahrump Valley Fire & Rescue Sent Firefighting Personnel To Support Caldor Fire Efforts
By Lucia Starbuck

More than 4,700 firefighting personnel are battling the Caldor Fire, and many of them are from outside the area. 

Pahrump Valley Fire & Rescue sent one engine with four people to help relieve the team at the North Lake Tahoe Fire Protection District Station 11. The crew made a roughly 12-hour trip from Nye County to help handle routine service calls.

This was firefighter paramedic Luke Crawford’s first mobilization, as well as his first visit to Tahoe, and he hopes to come back someday. 

“Oh absolutely, I can’t wait to return. I’m hoping it’ll be under better circumstances next time,” Crawford said.

Crawford and the crew returned to Pahrump Thursday night. 

Lucia Starbuck is a corps member with Report for America, an initiative of the GroundTruth Project.

Forest Closures Dampen Outdoor Activities
By Michele Ravera

Many outdoor activities have been derailed by wildfire. With the closure of Inyo National Forest, authorities shared information about what that means for outdoor recreation in the area.

Most national forests in California are closed until September 17 or until rescinded, which closes campsites, trails and roads, and prohibits scattered camping. Fishing and paddling are also not allowed because the closure includes lakes and streams.

County and state roads and routes are open, but forest roads are closed. There are some exceptions with forest entry for people with legitimate needs, such as recovering vehicles or work-related matters. Bureau of Land Management lands are currently open, including its campgrounds, with fire restrictions.

Officials Warn At-Home COVID-19 Testing Has Limitations
By Michele Ravera

The Washoe County Health District and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said at-home COVID-19 tests are generally accurate if used appropriately and all directions are followed properly, but there are limits.

The health district warns that because it isn’t administered by a medical professional, there is no way to verify a test was done correctly and that the right person was tested. Due to these limitations, the health district said any at-home positive test results are not counted toward the county’s official case count, and results are not used in determining whether someone can return to work or school.

Las Vegas-Area Mosquitoes Test Positive For West Nile Virus
By The Associated Press

Mosquitoes in the Las Vegas area have tested positive for West Nile virus, the first time this mosquito season. The Southern Nevada Health District said Thursday that mosquitoes trapped in a Henderson-area neighborhood tested positive for the virus, which can cause severe illness for those over 60 or with underlying health conditions. The health district urged people to protect themselves from mosquito bites when outdoors and eliminate any standing water around homes where mosquitoes can breed. Officials say mosquito activity in southern Nevada has been mild this year and last year; only one case was reported in a person in the area.

Gov. Newsom Calls GOP Rivals ‘Anti-Vax,’ But Are They?
By The Associated Press

California Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom has been attacking his Republican rivals as “anti-vax” as he looks to keep his job in a recall election. He has framed the Sept. 14 election as a life-or-death decision. Newsom says if he’s replaced by one of the Republicans, then COVID cases will soar, and so will deaths. Newsom, however, is taking liberties with his characterization. The top GOP candidates — Larry Elder, Kevin Faulconer, Kevin Kiley and John Cox — that he says are anti-vax all say they have been vaccinated. All also have said people should get the shot if they wish but that government shouldn’t force them. However, some also have at times shared misinformation about coronavirus and vaccines.

Michele Ravera joined KUNR in 2014 as a volunteer and was added to the part-time broadcast staff in October 2015. She is currently the station’s host for Morning Edition.
Lucia Starbuck is an award-winning journalist covering politics, focusing on democracy and solutions for KUNR Public Radio. Her goal is to provide helpful and informative coverage for everyday Nevadans.
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