Chief’s Corner: Precautions, tips for outdoor grilling in Truckee-Tahoe region |

Chief’s Corner: Precautions, tips for outdoor grilling in Truckee-Tahoe region

Ryan Sommers
Chief’s Corner

With warmer temperatures, conditions are ideal for increased risk of wildfire threat. Human carelessness is avoidable, be aware of your surroundings, exercise extra caution and be conscientious when recreating outdoors.

Practice general fire-safety precautions such as these:

Propane and charcoal BBQ grills should only be used outdoors.

The grill should be placed well away from the home, deck railings, out from under eaves, and overhanging branches.

Keep children and pets at least 3 feet away from the grill area.

Keep your grill clean by removing grease or fat buildup from the grills and in trays below the grill.

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Please do not leave grill unattended.

Always make sure your gas grill lid is open before lighting it.

Charcoal Grills:

Charcoal grills are prohibited on combustible surfaces.

There are several ways to get the charcoal ready to use. Charcoal chimney starters allow you to start the charcoal using newspaper as a fuel.

If you use a starter fluid, use only charcoal starter fluid. Never add charcoal fluid or any other flammable liquids to the fire.

Keep charcoal fluid out of the reach of children and away from heat sources.

There are also electric charcoal starters, which do not use fire. Be sure to use an extension cord for outdoor use.

When you are finished grilling, let the coals completely cool before disposing in a metal container. Contact the fire district for a free ash can (residents will need to have some type of wood burning heating appliance to be considered for the program). To obtain a free ash can, residents may fill out an application, available at the Fire District Administration Office, 866 Oriole Way, Incline Village, Nev. If the proper requirements are met, an ash can will be provided.

Propane Grills:

Check the gas tank hose for leaks before using it for the first time each year.

Apply a light soap and water solution to the hose. A propane leak will release bubbles.

If your grill has a gas leak, by smell or the soapy bubble test, and there is no flame, turn off the gas tank and grill. If the leak stops, get the grill serviced by a professional before using it again. If the leak does not stop, call the fire department.

If you smell gas while cooking, immediately get away from the grill and call the fire department. Do not move the grill.

If the flame goes out, turn the grill and gas off and wait at least 15 minutes before relighting.

As a reminder, Incline Village & Crystal Bay remain in fire restrictions during the fire season until further notice. Recreational burning, including recreational fire pits, require a permit.

This prohibition on open public burning will remain in effect until further notice. Please contact the Fire District's Assistant Fire Marshal, Mark Regan, with any questions at 775-831-0351, ext. 8107.

Propane and charcoal barbequing is still acceptable as long as used within manufacturer's guidelines and recommendations.

For more information on grilling safety, please visit

Ryan Sommers is the Fire Chief for the North Lake Tahoe Fire Protection District.