Tahoe Fire & Fuels Team to begin fall prescribed fire program

The Lake Tahoe Basin Fall Prescribed Fire Program is tentatively scheduled to start operations at the beginning of October.
Courtesy of Lisa Herron, USDA Forest Service

The Lake Tahoe Basin Fall Prescribed Fire Program was scheduled to begin earlier this week at Burton Creek State Park near Tahoe City, but conditions weren’t ideal to begin fire operations.

The next planned prescribed burn at the state park is tentatively scheduled for the start of next month, according to California State Parks, which, under the management of the Tahoe Fire & Fuels Team, also has a scheduled burn operation in the coming weeks at D.L Bliss State Park near Tahoma.

Roughly 19 acres at Burton Creek State Park are scheduled to be treated by an understory burn, which is a low intensity prescribed fire that takes place on the ground. The duration of ignition and smoke production at Burton Creek is estimated to last for a week once crews get underway. Areas possibly affected by smoke from the prescribed fire include Tahoe City, Highlands, Lake Forest, and portions of California State Route 28.

At D.L. Bliss State Park roughly 65 acres are scheduled for treatment. Managers will again use understory burning, which is wscheduled to last for roughly a week. Areas that could be affected by smoke include Rubicon Bay and California State Route 89.

“It’s so much better to have planned fires than it is to have unplanned fires.”— Lisa Herron, U.S. Forest Service

“Fall is a great time to start these prescribed fires because typically the weather is cooler, there is precipitation, more humidity, and so it usually works out that we can burn,” said U.S. Forest Service Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit Public Affairs Specialist Lisa Herron. “It’s so much better to have planned fires than it is to have unplanned fires.”

Before prescribed fire operations are conducted, agencies post road signs around areas affected by prescribed fire, send email notifications, and update the local fire information line maintained by the forest service at 530-543-2816.

To learn more about the benefits prescribed fire, visit

Justin Scacco is a reporter for the Sierra Sun. Contact him at

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