North Lake Tahoe high school senior raises funds for wildland fire protection

Just last week, California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara announced “Safer from Wildfires,” a new insurance framework that incorporates wildfire safety measures that make homes and businesses more resilient to wildfire. The North Tahoe Fire Protection District has been incorporating many of these same elements, collaborating with communities to prepare for fire season. The district maintains a robust Forest Fuels program, offering Defensible Space Inspections, assisting in Firewise USA programs for insurance discounts, and Curbside Chipping at no cost to residents, in addition to other fuels management efforts to mitigate the threats of wildfire at the community level.

Despite these ongoing prevention efforts, North Tahoe Fire must be prepared for the reality of wildfires close to home, much like the Tamarack Fire, Dixie Fire and the Caldor Fire this past year. North Tahoe Fire Protection District relies on outside assistance each year to complement the district’s budget in order to purchase the equipment and gear it needs to respond to devastating wildfires when they do occur. Since COVID, the North Tahoe Firefighters Association has not hosted its annual Snowfest Pancake Breakfast, its primary annual fundraiser, leaving local firefighters without the ability to raise the additional funding that would normally help with these purchases.

One local high school student recognized the need to take action to address this shortfall and is doing just that. Syd Whisler, daughter of the North Tahoe Fire Protection District Division Chief of Operations Alan Whisler, is participating in North Lake Tahoe’s annual Snowfest to raise funds for the North Tahoe Fire Auxiliary program. Ms. Whisler is running to be North Lake Tahoe’s annual Snowfest Snow Queen, an opportunity for high school seniors to raise money for their favorite nonprofit. Snowfest returns to Lake Tahoe for its 40th anniversary by celebrating our region’s spring recreational and business offerings with ten days of events and competitions, including its annual parade in Tahoe City on Feb. 26.

The 2022 fire season affected Syd and her family intimately, especially when the Caldor Fire hit so close to home. “The Tahoe Basin is our home,” she said. “This past year, we felt the fragility of our ecosystem and the strength of fire. To be able to support the North Tahoe Fire Auxiliary and Fire Protection District is such an honor. I am proud of my dad and all of those who protect our community each day.”

Syd Whisler’s funds for the North Tahoe Fire Auxiliary program will assist North Tahoe Fire Protection District with new wildland fire equipment for the safety and firefighting efforts of our local firefighters, who respond to fires threatening communities locally and across the state. For only $20 a ticket, each entry offers a chance to win an unrestricted 2022/2023 Palisades Tahoe Ski pass along with many other fun prizes while supporting North Tahoe Fire Protection District and local scholarship opportunities.

To purchase a raffle ticket and support Syd’s efforts, visit and click on the “Add to Cart” button below Syd Whisler’s profile.

Source: North Tahoe Fire Protection District

Syd Whisler is a local senior at Forest Charter School in Olympic Valley competing for North Tahoe High School in varsity golf, Nordic skiing and swimming. In addition to her incredible athletic endeavors while maintaining a 4.0 GPA, she is currently working on her Private Pilot License with the ambition to obtain a bachelor’s degree in Aeronautical Engineering and Aviation.
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