Tahoe planning agency endorses Tahoe helicopter | SierraSun.com

Tahoe planning agency endorses Tahoe helicopter

Adam Jensen
Sun News Service

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE ” A resolution supporting the stationing of a quick-response firefighting helicopter in the Lake Tahoe Basin was approved by the The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency’s Governing Board at its monthly meeting on Wednesday.

Much of the discussion surrounding the resolution was based on making sure the board’s actions were in line with the desires of basin firefighters.

“I’m not in favor of this resolution, not because I think it’s not a good resolution, but I think it’s premature,” said governing board member and El Dorado County Supervisor, Norma Santiago.

The focus should be placed on wildfire prevention, such as the reduction of forest fuels and defensible space, Santiago said.

Ultimately, Santiago was in the minority and the board decided supporting the stationing of a firefighting helicopter in the basin is just one facet of decreasing the threat of wildfire in the Lake Tahoe Basin.

“This is one tool that’s missing out of the tool chest” said Nancy McDermid. “I think it behooves all of us to look at every possibility for preventing catastrophic wildfire.”

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Board members are hoping the resolution will help attract funding for such a helicopter.