The National Weather Service (NWS) has elevated the potential for fires in the Lake Tahoe area.

A rare red flag warning has been issued for portions of North Eastern California and Western Nevada, including the Lake Tahoe area.

"This is a particularly dangerous situation with extremely low humidity and high winds,” the NWS of Reno, Nevada warning wrote. “New fires will grow rapidly out of

control, in some cases people may not be able to evacuate safely in time should a fire approach.”

Despite extremely smoky conditions, which shrouded the usually unhindered views across the lake, thousands of weekend travelers poured into South Lake Tahoe Friday afternoon.

The South Lake Tahoe Fire Department is gearing up in preparation of what could be a long weekend if a fire begins, according Battalion Chief Bruce Martin.

"And even on a hazy, smoky, day like today you'd think that'd scare folks away, but I'm seeing a pretty typical crowd," Martin said.

The department has raised red flags outside its stations, informing locals and tourist about the warning on its social media pages, and bringing on additional staff for the weekend.

In recent months, the U.S. Forrest Service has worked to clear under brush and dead trees outside in the forested areas of the mountain town.

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