Echo Lake Camp: ‘No threat’ and no damage as defense from Caldor Fire winds down

While the Caldor Fire continues to threaten South Lake Tahoe, Wednesday brought another ray of good news for fans of Berkeley’s Echo Lake Camp.

After spending Tuesday fighting spot fires on the property, Berkeley Fire Department crews confirmed that none of the beloved youth camp’s dozens of structures had been damaged, city officials said, and the danger appears to be waning.

“Things are looking good today,” Berkeley Fire Assistant Chief Keith May wrote in a text message Wednesday afternoon. “There is still some fire to the north of the camp and crews are engaging, but there is no threat to the camp at this point.”

The Caldor Fire, which now covers more than 200,000 acres and poses an unprecedented threat to tens of thousands of homes in the Tahoe Basin, roared through the Echo Lake area on Monday. Many feared the camp that has hosted generations of Berkeley families would be destroyed, but learned Tuesday morning that firefighters had been able to defend the facility and several other nearby cabins.

Work to protect Echo Lake Camp continued amid Red Flag conditions Tuesday. May said one firefighter suffered minor injuries during the operations but is “doing well.”

Crews used a bulldozer to build a protection line on the south side of the camp, he said. And with weather conditions turning more favorable, the team of Berkeley firefighters is preparing to return home Thursday evening.