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Snow Falls on Massive Caldor Wildfire Footprint, Aiding Fire Crews, Adding Beauty

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE (CBS13) - From fire to ice, snow fell on the footprint of the massive Caldor Wildfire Monday, leaving a big change of scenery from the past six weeks.

The first snow of the season has left the Caldor-threatened community of Christmas Valley looking Christmasy.

Geoff Blachman's home survived the fire, giving him all the more reason to celebrate snow on the Caldor burn scar.

Geoff Blachman/lives in Christmas Valley

"I love snow," Blachman said. "It's pretty awesome!"

Snowfall made for an unusual sight at the Caldor Wildfire base camp. The Heavenly Ski Resort transformed into a base camp a month ago. This snow forced fire crews to bundle up.

Derek Williams is the Caldor Fire incident meteorologist. He said this snowstorm will help with the firefighting effort. It is not enough to put the last of the wildfire entirely out.

"What we're experiencing now is called lake effect snow," Williams said. "It was confined to the eastern probably, quarter of the fire footprint, Lake Tahoe area, but generally it got two to five inches of snow."

The snow stuck to the ground and to the entrance sign of the El Dorado National Forest Lake Tahoe Basin.

Nancy Ng and Melissa Henke have been honoring the firefighters with handwritten thank-you signs for the past month. This snow was their sure sign, the official end of the Caldor fire is near.

"It's refreshing, it's symbolic, and this is gonna help put it out at the very end," Henke said.

A relentless wildfire, that left an ugly mark on the Tahoe Basin. And a first snow, returning the region to its enduring image of natural beauty.

It's not only freezing in Lake Tahoe, it's below freezing. Overnight lows could even set a record for this time of year.

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