‘We would evac back to Vegas’: Some plan next steps as Caldor Fire grows

Local News

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — As fire crews battle the Caldor Fire, many who live in the area are thinking about what to do if they evacuate.

For some with connections to the valley, Las Vegas could be their next move. It is about 450 miles away from South Lake Tahoe, where the Caldor Fire is threatening to do major damage. People who live and work in the area say they see Las Vegas as a potential lifeline.

Emerald Bay – Photo Courtesy: David Pappas

“We live in fear constantly and this is a nightmare,” said David Pappas, who lives on the North shore of Lake Tahoe. Pappas is originally from Las Vegas but moved to Incline Village, Nevada last year.

In videos taken by Pappas while driving along Crystal Bay, smoke from the Caldor Fire covers everything in sight. Although Pappas is still several miles away from the flames, he is preparing for the worst.

Crystal Bay – Photo Courtesy: David Pappas

“We moved all of our valuables out last week, so our heirlooms, our possessions, things that we can’t replace,” Pappas said.

And he has a plan if the fire comes closer. “We would evac back to Vegas. And we’d just get a hotel room,” Pappas said.

Las Vegas is also on the minds of those in Lake Tahoe’s “casino corridor.”

Caldor Fire

“We’re the home of the command center for most agencies that are fighting the fire right now,” said Barbaro, Executive Director of Casino Marketing for Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Lake Tahoe.

Barbaro says firefighters and evacuees at the Hard Rock at Lake Tahoe, as the property has closed gaming operations. He also says casinos on the Las Vegas Strip are already extending a helping hand.

“Other properties in the Vegas market offering to house our employees that have had to evacuate,” Barbaro said. “It’s just nice to know that we have that in the back of our minds, in the event that does happen where we have to evacuate.”

Pappas says he is planning a proactive approach. “We’re not going to wait until the mandatory evacuation order,” he said.

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