Its Aug. 10, 2004 and the wind is blowing 20 mph and there's been no rain since April.
At 2 o'clock the temperature tops out at 93 degrees. Foresters have fire-danger signs in the Lake Tahoe Basin set to "very high."
At the "Y," a driver notices the temperature gauge on his truck is moving into the red zone. He pulls off the road at the corner of Lake Tahoe Boulevard and Tahoe Mountain Road.
When he checks under the hood he sees fire and soon that fire has spread into brush along the side of the road. Within an hour the fire destroys dozens of homes as wind gusts and fuel provided by dead and dying trees drive it up the slope of Angora Ridge.
The driver runs to a house nearby to call 911, but no one is home at the first house or the next. Emergency Dispatch doesn't get notified of the fire until 2:10 p.m.
Engines from Lake Valley Fire Protection District are first on scene, minutes after they get the call. The U.S. Forest Service orders six engines, a helicopter, three airplanes to attack the fire.
By midnight, the wildfire has run over Angora Ridge and spot fires are threatening homes that ring Fallen Leaf Lake. Between 500 and 1,000 firefighters battle the blaze and work to protect the 100 or so homes in the area.
California Highway Patrol and the El Dorado County Sheriff's Department have already ordered an evacuation via Tahoe Mountain Road and Fallen Leaf Road.
Residents who carved a defensible space around their homes see their homes get optimal protection from firefighters. Residents who didn't eliminate wildfire fuels from their properties end up with their possessions in ashes.
By morning, firefighters have "shaky containment" of the fire. The wind dies down and the higher humidity overnight allowed hand crews and bulldozer operators to dig a line around the fire.
Officials say it cost close to $1 million to defeat the blaze. That's not counting property losses and what it will cost to rehabilitate the land.