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KUNR Today: Gov. Sisolak Declares State Of Emergency For Caldor Fire, Blaze Forces More Evacuations

An intersection with red lights. There are several police cars and a truck with emergency lights blocking off the intersection to through traffic.
Paul Boger
KUNR Public Radio
Officials direct traffic at the California-Nevada line as evacuees head out of South Lake Tahoe on Aug. 30, 2021.

Here are the local news headlines for the morning of Tuesday, Aug. 31, 2021.

Governor Sisolak Declares State Of Emergency Due To Caldor Fire

By Lucia Starbuck

Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak declared a state of emergency Monday to ensure resources go toward helping Caldor Fire evacuees from California taking refuge in the state.

The wildfire prompted mandatory evacuation orders for more than 22,000 South Lake Tahoe residents, and due to road closures, many are being directed across state lines into Nevada.

The influx of people is expected to result in unsafe road conditions, overwhelmed services and insufficient evacuee sheltering. The evacuation center at Douglas County Community and Senior Center is already at full capacity.

Sisolak’s state of emergency directs state, local and federal agencies to provide resources as needed.

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

Caldor Fire Evacuation Shelters Filling Up
By Noah Glick

The evacuation centers originally set up in Nevada for Caldor Fire evacuees are now full.

The Douglas County Community Center, the Carson City Community Center and Fuji Park Fairgrounds are at capacity. Evacuees are now being directed to the Reno-Sparks Convention Center.

Evacuees can also head to the Truckee Veterans Hall. The Dayton Rodeo Grounds are also open for animals. Limited space is also available for pets at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center.

Keep up with the latest on the Caldor Fire on KUNR's blog.

Note: Carson High School was previously reported as an evacuation center by CAL FIRE; however, the Nevada Division of Homeland Security clarified Tuesday morning that the site is not an evacuation shelter as school is currently in session.

Barton Health Services And Medical Offices Close Due To Threat From Caldor Fire
By Lucia Starbuck

All Barton Health services and medical offices are completely closed due to the threat of the Caldor Fire. This includes Barton Urgent Care and the relocated emergency department that was at Lake Tahoe Surgery Center. The closures will be in effect until at least Friday, Sept. 3.

All patients are being transferred to other facilities, and their families have been notified. Patients with upcoming appointments will be contacted directly.

For a medical emergency, please call 911.

What To Include In Evacuation To-Go Kits
By Noah Glick

As evacuation orders continue to grow, it's becoming more urgent for residents to be prepared to leave in a minutes' notice.

Jamie Roice-Gomes is the manager of the Living with Fire program, managed by the University of Nevada, Reno Extension. She said in fire situations like the Caldor Fire, the first priority is to sign up for emergency notifications and then prepare an evacuation to-go kit.

“Some things to include would be important documents, like bank statements, trusts, insurance policy, birth certificates, medical records,” Roice-Gomes said. “Make sure you have some cash and your credit and debit card, medications.”

She also recommended doing an inventory of your household items and taking photos of your home's exterior. That can help with insurance claims if damage does occur.

Roice-Gomes said when evacuating, you also want to consider your clothing. She recommended wearing wool or cotton items, with long sleeves, in addition to bringing hats, jackets, face masks and goggles.

Those living in Tahoe can find more information at tahoelivingwithfire.com, and Nevada residents can learn more at livingwithfire.com.

As a note of disclosure, the Nevada System of Higher Education Board of Regents owns the license to this station.

Douglas County Meals For Seniors Revised Locations
By Lucia Starbuck

With the Douglas County Community and Senior Center serving as an evacuation site for the Caldor Fire, the campus is closed to the public and drive-through pickup meal services for homebound seniors are suspended at the center. Seniors who normally pick up meals at the community center can now get their food at different locations throughout the community. You can find the county’s latest locations and times here or below:

Douglas County Community and Senior Center (DCCSC), Lobby South Entrance

North County / Indian Hills GID Offices, Parking Lot

South County / TRE Community Center, Parking Lot

Current and active Meals on Wheels recipients will receive their deliveries on their regularly scheduled days.

FEMA Team From Vegas Heads To Louisiana For Hurricane Relief
By The Associated Press

An urban search and rescue team from the Las Vegas area has been sent to Louisiana to help amid flooding and damage from Hurricane Ida. A Clark County spokesman said members of the regional Federal Emergency Management Agency unit known as Nevada Task Force 1 departed Sunday for a 24-hour drive to the Baton Rouge area. Clark County fire Chief John Steinbeck told the Las Vegas Review-Journal the 38 team members might conduct water rescues, help with evacuations, clear debris or be pressed into service for humanitarian assistance. The assignment is expected to last up to two weeks. The unit is one of 28 FEMA task forces around the nation.

Noah Glick is a former content director and host at KUNR Public Radio.
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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