Fire agencies to give smoke alert | SierraSun.com

Fire agencies to give smoke alert

Julie Brown
Sierra Sun

Fire agencies will now alert North Tahoe-area residents prior to planned burning as part of an effort to help those living in the vicinity of a controlled fire prepare for the smoke.

An automated telephone message will be sent out to residents who may be affected by the smoke, notifying them of the scheduled fires and advising them to take necessary health precautions.

“We just want to let people know for future burns,” said Ed Miller, spokesperson for the North Tahoe Fire District.

The decision to initiate the neighborhood notifications came after the smoke from a prescribed burn Thursday settled in among Chinquapin and Dollar Point residents.

An unforeseen change in air temperature likely caused the smoke to drop to ground level, Miller said.

Many residents called the fire district Thursday, inquiring about the smoke, Miller said. And local fire agencies, including the North Tahoe Fire District, the California Tahoe Conservancy, the U.S. Forest Service and State Parks, want to make sure homeowners are prepared for further controlled burns which will continue so long as conditions permit.

“We have a very narrow window of time in which to burn these burn piles and do this fuel reduction,” Miller said. “And we’re trying to do this to avoid catastrophic wildfire and reduce a great load of fuel.”

Miller suggested homeowners keep their windows closed or stay indoors, if necessary.

“If they’re in an area of smoke, just stay indoors or drive away from it,” Miller said.

For more information, please contact the North Tahoe Fire District at 583-6913, or visit its Web site at http://www.ntfire.net.