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Burns banned, fire dangers remain high

Amanda Butler, Sierra Sun

Starting May 29, the Truckee Fire Protection District suspended all debris burning within the Town of Truckee.

“Current humidity and weather conditions have increased the dangers of open burning and the burn ban will remain in effect until further notice,” said Gene Welch, the public safety and information officer of the Truckee Fire Protection District, in a statement released May 29.

Welch said burning will probably not be allowed again until next fall.

Welch wanted to thank residents who have reduced the fire danger to their homes by removing and/or reducing fire hazards from their property, thereby creating defensible space.

“A defensible space can mean the difference between minor damage and losing your home in a wildfire,” said Welch. “It can create a safe zone that firefighters will use when defending your home (which could save a life). It is not too late to clear a defensible space around your lot or home.”

Welch’s recommendations come after wildland fires this week in Susanville, 80 miles northwest of Reno, have eaten away at more than 4,100 acres, forcing residents from 54 homes to evacuate.

A California Department of Forestry spokeswoman said the large blaze started Sunday, May 24 on private land after being sparked by a man shooting at targets in the woods.

Although the fire didn’t claim any structures, Dan Merritt of the Susanville Interagency Fire Center said the blaze was “too close for comfort.”

With fire season looming, fire officials throughout California have been stressing the importance of fire prevention.

Welch says the recent burn ban means residents will have to rely on other disposal methods to clear debris from around their home.

The Tahoe Truckee Sierra Disposal Company has designated Saturday, June 2 as Truckee’s Annual Fire Safety Day.

Residents are invited to bring their natural yard wastes to collection areas around town for free disposal.

“Although we are not sponsoring it … the (Fire Safety Day) is a good way to dispose of debris and get it off property, so it won’t create a fire hazard,” said Welch.

“The event is geared toward helping residents comply with local fire department ‘defensible space’ requirements and to aid in the diversion of recyclable materials from the solid waste system,” said Jeff Collins, the general manager at the disposal company.

Collection sites will be set up in Glenshire, Tahoe Donner, Truckee Regional Park, Prosser and Donner Lake.

Truckee residents can drop off their natural wood debris, including tree limbs, brush, yard trimmings, pine needles dead leaves and dry grass. No stumps, construction debris, nails, dirt (including sod), rocks, or garbage will be accepted. Items should be separated and grouped. Tree limbs and brush should be grouped together. Pine needles should also be kept separate. Grass clippings must be dried, not green or wet. Collection will end at 3 p.m.

For questions or information about the collection contact the Tahoe Truckee Sierra Disposal Company at (530) 583-0148. For more information about the burn ban, contact Gene Welch at (530) 582-7853.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.


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