"SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — A popular vacation haven normally filled with tens of thousands of summer tourists was clogged with fleeing vehicles Monday after the entire resort city of South Lake Tahoe was ordered to leave as a ferocious wildfire raced toward Lake Tahoe, a sparkling gem on the California-Nevada state line.
Vehicles loaded with bikes and camping gear and hauling boats were in gridlock traffic in the city of 22,000, stalled in hazy, brown air that smelled like a campfire. Police and other emergency vehicles whizzed by.
Ken Breslin was stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic less than a mile (1.6 kilometers) from his home, with only a quarter-tank of gas in his Ford Escape. His son begged him to leave Sunday night, but he shrugged him off, certain that if an evacuation order came, it would be later in the week."