Tahoe Chief’s Corner: Follow these fire-safe tips for a fun summer | SierraSun.com

Tahoe Chief’s Corner: Follow these fire-safe tips for a fun summer

Ryan Sommers
Chief’s Corner

As many as 90 percent of wildland fires in the United States are caused by humans. Some human-caused fires result from campfires left unattended, the burning of debris, negligently discarded cigarettes and intentional acts of arson (www.nps.gov).

With warmer temperatures and low precipitation the past several winters, conditions are ideal for increased risk of wildfire threat. Human carelessness is avoidable — remember to Think First to Keep Tahoe Fire Safe this summer.

Visit http://www.thinkfirsttahoe.org to learn more about wildfire prevention and preparedness. Sign the pledge to show you take the wildfire threat at Tahoe seriously. Be aware of your surroundings, exercise extra caution and be conscientious when recreating outdoors.

Practice general fire-safety precautions such as these:

• Never leave a campfire unattended. Extinguish all campfires completely and stir ashes to make sure the fire is completely out.

• Dispose of cigarettes in proper receptacles away from any flammable material.

• Never use stoves, lanterns or heaters inside a tent.

• Store flammable liquid containers in a safe place.

• Avoid driving through dry vegetation or parking your vehicle in high grass or dry vegetation.

• At the first sight of smoke or a wildfire call 911.

FIRE RESTRICTIONS

Fire restrictions in the Lake Tahoe Basin began July 1 and will remain in effect until the official end of fire season. Campfires will be restricted to certain exempted recreation sites and other fire-related activities will be prohibited.

Illegal and unattended campfires cause over 90 percent of wildfires in the Lake Tahoe Basin and increased fire danger due to the ongoing drought and warm summer weather is a big concern at Lake Tahoe. Fire restrictions help reduce the possibility of human caused fires.

To read the Forest Order, visit bit.ly/29rW3kQ, and to learn more about what fire restrictions mean, visit bit.ly/29QfZws.

On National Forest System lands, fire restrictions mean:

• No open fires, campfires or charcoal fires will be allowed outside of exempted recreation sites (see attached list) even with a valid campfire permit. Campfires must be built within agency installed and approved fire rings or grills. Lanterns and portable stoves using gas, jellied petroleum or pressurized liquid fuel are allowed as long as the forest visitor has a valid California Campfire Permit.

• No smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle, building or exempted recreation site.

• Internal combustion engines are restricted to National Forest System roads, routes, trails, and areas as identified on the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit Motor Vehicle Use Map at bit.ly/2a9Y2b2.

• No possessing, discharging or using any kind of firework or other pyrotechnic device, using an explosive or operating a welding or other torch with an open flame. Fireworks, including sparklers, are always illegal in the Lake Tahoe Basin.

• No welding, or operating acetylene or any other torch with an open flame.

For more information on fire restrictions, call the Forest Supervisor’s office at 530-543-2694, Monday through Friday (excluding holidays) from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.

“Chief’s Corner” is a regular feature from North Lake Tahoe Fire Protection District Interim Chief Ryan Sommers and other regional fire chiefs, offering information, tips and education material on fire safety, emergency preparedness and other pertinent topics.