Our View: The long, dry summer | SierraSun.com

Our View: The long, dry summer

True locals know that you can never really say winter is over in Truckee until the Fourth of July, and sometimes not even then.

But if current weather patterns hold up, this summer may be a scorcher. Problems are looming in several different directions, from energy to fire hazards to low water supplies.

The rest of California is already getting a terrifying glimpse at what may lie ahead with rolling blackouts and skyrocketing energy costs.

We in Truckee remain fortunate because we’re mostly hooked into the Nevada energy grid, which so far has avoided California’s crisis. But it doesn’t pay to get complacent – some energy gurus warn that California’s problems may just be the first in a series that could eventually turn into a national crisis.

Truckee homeowners would do well to start conserving unnecessary power now, turning off the Christmas lights that may still be on outside their homes every night and following other simple energy-saving tips.

The dry, hot weather that we’ve had the past few weeks is also increasing the dangers of catastrophic wildfires. Local fire departments have long warned that Truckee and Lake Tahoe have the potential for serious fires like those that struck elsewhere in the country last summer. Homeowners are warned to clear their land of dry brush and to use defensible space.

Finally, as we examine in our front-page story this week, local recreational waters are already feeling the pinch of our dismal winter. Boca and Prosser Reservoirs are well below normal levels, and water officials predict Lake Tahoe will also drop several feet below average in order to keep the Truckee River flowing this year.

Visitors and local recreational boaters and fishers will find less hospitable waters this summer. Some Donner Lake residents have voiced concern that low reservoir waters may mean an overcrowding of boaters at their lake, adding to its already-existing problems with contaminated drinking water and parking issues.

While nobody wants to be a doomsayer just yet, Truckee residents need to be prepared for the summer ahead and the dangers it may bring.

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