Tahoe fire restrictions lifted | SierraSun.com

Tahoe fire restrictions lifted

David Bunker
Sierra Sun

Tahoe Basin campfire and residential burning restrictions will end today, following snow, rain and cooling temperatures that have reduced the risk of fire in the Sierra Nevada.

Residential burning restrictions have also been lifted and the Forest Service is using the autumn weather to gain ground on burning a backlog of piles of thinned trees and brush.

“We’ve done a lot of work on these last two to three weeks,” said Rex Norman, spokesman for the Forest Service’s Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit.

That work has included controlled burns in Blackwood Canyon on Tahoe’s West Shore.

The weather ” damp and cool with light winds ” is ideal for assuring the fires stay in control and that the smoke is swept from the Basin.

“We’re going to take advantage of the conditions while we’ve got them,” Norman said.

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For residential burning permits, citizens are urged to contact their local fire department or fire station for details before conducting burning.

With autumn weather, fire officials are hoping the unusually dry summer, which fueled the devastating Angora Fire in South Lake Tahoe, the Washoe Fire on Tahoe’s West Shore and the Interchange Fire in Truckee, is finally ending.

The dry, warm conditions prompted Tahoe forest officials to prohibit campfires except within established campgrounds that provide fire rings, and prohibited charcoal fires at beaches and day-use areas. The Forest Service restricted smoking in the Basin to the interiors of structures and vehicles, and to properly cleared areas.

The Forest Service is lifting those restrictions today.

Residents and visitors should be aware that Forest Service fire regulations require the use of stoves year-round in most backcountry areas and in the Desolation Wilderness, and that valid campfire permits are required for both stoves and campfires. Charcoal fires will again be allowed at Forest Service beaches and other developed day-use areas without a permit.

Despite improved conditions, the public should continue to use great caution and follow fire regulations, the Forest Service said.

“September and October are months in which you can see some pretty significant wildfire activity,” said Norman.