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The Caldor fire has triggered mass evacuations in two states, torched hundreds of homes, made the air hazardous to breathe and spurred President Biden to issue an emergency declaration.

But the erratic wildfire is also causing another problem for Lake Tahoe: Smoke and ash particles are entering the lake and clouding its world-famous crystal blue waters.

Burning for nearly three weeks now, the fire has scorched more than 210,000 acres and blanketed the region in a haze of smoke.

Readings in recent days show the lake’s clarity — which is tracked by lowering a white disk below the surface and measuring the depth at which it disappears from view — has dropped to below normal for this time of year.

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