Governors Schwarzenegger and Gibbons act on Lake Tahoe fire report, declare emergency status |

Governors Schwarzenegger and Gibbons act on Lake Tahoe fire report, declare emergency status

Sierra Sun news serviceNevada Gov. Jim Gibbons and California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger quickly sign the recommendation of the California-Nevada Tahoe Basin Fire Commission report today as a cloud burst open on the ceremony at Lake Valley Fire Protection District Station #7 in Meyers.

The governors of California and Nevada and U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein accepted the final report today of a commission they established following last summer’s Angora fire.

The governors issued state-specific proclamations outlining the next steps each state will take to implement many of the report’s recommendations.

As part of California’s proclamation, Schwarzenegger declared a state of emergency in Placer and El Dorado counties today so the state can immediately take action to make the Tahoe basin safer and better prepared for future wildfires. The recommendation for the emergency declaration was made in the final report.

“Last year’s Angora fire gave us a painful reminder of the challenges we face in this vulnerable region,” Governor Schwarzenegger said. “That’s why Gov. Gibbons and I formed the California-Nevada Tahoe Basin Fire Commission and made sure every local voice would be heard.

“I am taking action today based on the recommendations made by the Fire Commission,” the California governor said. “We will work hand-in-hand with local, regional and federal agencies to make the Tahoe basin safer and greatly increase our fire prevention efforts while protecting the natural splendor of Lake Tahoe. I am excited about what the future holds for the Tahoe basin in this new era of collaboration.”

Following last June’s fire the governors signed a memorandum of understanding establishing the California-Nevada Tahoe Basin Fire Commission. The MOU created an advisory panel of 17 voting members representing each state’s stake in the management of lands and fire fuels within the Tahoe basin, including representatives from state agencies, fire officials, public members from the Lake Tahoe community and a representative of the U.S. Forest Service, which manages approximately 90 percent of land in the Tahoe basin and the area where the Angora fire started.

The fire burned 2,072 acres and destroyed more than 350 homes. The panel finished its report in March.

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