Chief’s Corner: Know your community fire restrictions in Truckee-Tahoe region
August 17, 2017
North Tahoe Fire Protection District & Meeks Bay Fire Protection District
The following is allowed during burn restriction: Properly screened wood burning outdoor fireplace or chiminea, LPG or LNG portable outdoor fireplace, or barbeque, and has a total fuel area of 3 feet or less in diameter and 2 feet or less in height, at least 15 feet from a structure or combustible material. (Renters must have written permission from owner, and have the letter in their possession.) Open burning is prohibited. "We encourage the public to help us in our fire prevention efforts, and educate their neighborhoods regarding NTFPD fire restrictions and creating Fire Adapted Communities." – NTFPD Fire Marshal, Todd Conradson.
Squaw Valley Fire Department
During fire restriction, the following is prohibited: open burning, bonfires, portable outdoor fireplaces and recreational fire; as defined in the most current version of the California Fire Code, when atmospheric conditions or local circumstances make such fires hazardous including when, in the judgment of the Fire Chief or his designee, the menace of destruction by fire to life, improved property, or natural resources, or is forecast to become, extreme due to critical fire weather, fire suppression forces being heavily committed to control fires already burning, acute dryness of the vegetation, or other factors that may cause the rapid spread of fire such as high winds, low fuel moisture, Fire Weather or Red Flag Warnings, severe threat of wildland fire, or issuance of Fire Restrictions on lands adjacent to the District by the USFS or CALFIRE.
Northstar Fire Department
"Over the last 10 years Northstar Fire Department has worked proactively with the Northstar Property Owners Association to prevent residences from utilizing wood burning fire pits or having open flame fires. Through cooperation, both the organizations have been successful in adopting, either through fire department ordinance or covenants, conditions, restrictions, and rules that prohibit open burning. We have also realized that having recreational fires is very important to homeowners as a way of rounding off their mountain living experience. Thus, we have come up with a safe way to allow property owners to install gas operated outdoor fire pits that are safe for homeowners and for the community." Northstar Fire Chief Mark Shadowens.
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North Lake Tahoe Fire Protection District
Incline Village & Crystal Bay remain in Fire Restrictions during the fire season until further notice. Recreational burning, including recreational fire pits, requires a permit. This prohibition on open public burning will remain in effect until further notice. Propane and charcoal barbequing is still acceptable as long as used within manufacturer's guidelines and recommendations. The District follows all Nevada State Fire Code. "We've had a very busy fire season and it's not over yet. Everyone can do their part to be fire safe by checking what the site specific campfire restrictions/ordinances are before heading outdoors." NLTFPD Fire Chief, Ryan Sommers.
Truckee Fire Protection District
Yard debris burning is banned for the remainder of the season until there is significant rainfall and the burn ban is lifted, usually later in the fall. Small recreational fires are allowed in designated campground fire pits and in fire pits, BBQs or outdoor fire places, with written approval of the property owner. Local Town of Truckee ordinance prohibits large or "hazardous fires" as determined by the fire district. Hazardous fires include fires near combustible material, on Red Flag days and large fires. The District follows the California Fire Code and local ordinance. Check with your HOA for other specific restrictions. "It's important to understand that even small fires can escape and cause a devastating wildland fire in the right conditions. Make sure your fires are dead out and cool to the touch," Fire Marshal Craig Harvey.
Michael Schwartz joined the North Tahoe Fire Protection District as its Fire Chief in 2012, after serving 29 years with a neighboring fire agency. Along with his wife Jean, they have been a part of the Lake Tahoe community since 1978.