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As wildfire stalls rage, evacuations were lifted in Tahoe for thousands

Tens of thousands fled South Lake Tahoe to escape a wildfire, but they are now returning home after crews managed to stop the flames from spreading far away.

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As wildfire stalls rage, evacuations were lifted in Tahoe for thousands

Authorities warned residents in the California-Nevada scenic forest area that they were not yet out of danger. There are risks from smoke, foul air and belligerent bears.

Evacuation orders for South Lake Tahoe, and other lakeside areas, were reduced to warnings Sunday afternoon. California Highway Patrol officers began to remove roadblocks along State Highway 50 between Nevada and the city limits.

Although the threat of Caldor Fire still exists, it has been reduced to a warning. This allowed those who wished to return home to what was a ghost town and not a bustling Labor Day getaway.

At an evening briefing, South Lake Tahoe Fire Chief Clive Savacool stated that "so far it hasn’t been a mad dash of cars." "We are happy to see that people are gradually trickling in, but the city needs time to prepare," Clive Savacool said.

Savacool stated that officials hoped to open the local hospital's emergency room within 24 hours. He also said that paramedics were manning fire engines for emergency medical treatment.

He said that people with medical issues might be able to stay away from the smoky atmosphere.

Savacool stated that people who return home should have enough food and medication, as well as enough gas to fuel their vehicles.

Savacool stated that law enforcement was still on the lookout for "your home to be safe" and continued to patrol.

Authorities warned, however, that bears were spreading garbage everywhere, even in the absence humans.

"The delicate balance between bears and humans has been disturbed," anyone who suspects that a bear might have entered their home should contact law enforcement, El Dorado County sheriff’s Sgt. Simon Brown stated.

The lifting of mandatory evacuation orders in Tahoe marked a significant milestone in the fight against this fire that erupted Aug. 14. It spread over nearly 340 miles (880 kilometers) of dense national forests, forests, tree-dotted granite hills, scattered cabins, and hamlets in northern Sierra Nevada.

The fire burned up to 1,000 acres per hour at its peak and nearly destroyed the small community of the Grizzly Flats last month.

However, the winds have eased in recent days and thousands of firefighters took full advantage of the warmer weather to fire up their engines and managed to control 43% of the perimeter.

Although most of the fire's western and southern sides had been contained, some areas were still uncontrolled.

There were no homes lost on the northeastern side, which is the closest to the lake. Crews also managed to create more fire lines along the edge of a fiery finger.

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