Tahoe Basin prescribed fire operations may continue this week

Release Date: Feb 5, 2018  

Contact(s): U.S. Forest Service, Lisa Herron (530) 543-2815

Tahoe Fire and Fuels Team LogoSOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. – The Tahoe Fire and Fuels Team (TFFT), which includes local, state and federal agencies, may continue prescribed fire operations this week in some locations around Lake Tahoe, weather and conditions permitting.  Smoke may be present.  A map with project locations and details is available for viewing at http://www.tahoefft.org.  To receive prescribed fire notifications, send an email to pa_ltbmu@fs.fed.us

When weather and conditions allow, prescribed fire operations are conducted to reduce overgrown vegetation, which decreases the severity of future wildland fires, protects communities, reduces the risk of insect and disease outbreaks in our forests, recycles nutrients that increases soil productivity and improves wildlife habitat.  After nearly a century of fire exclusion in the Sierra Nevada, prescribed fire operations also re-introduce fire back onto the landscape, which helps restore vital ecosystem functions and improve forest health and resiliency.

Winter typically brings cooler temperatures and precipitation, which favor prescribed burning.  Each prescribed fire operation follows a specialized prescribed fire burn plan that considers temperature, humidity, wind, moisture of the vegetation, and conditions for the dispersal of smoke.  This information is used to decide when and where to burn.

The TFFT coordinates closely with local county and state air pollution control districts and monitors weather conditions carefully prior to prescribed fire ignitions.  They wait for favorable conditions that will carry smoke up and out of the basin.  Crews also conduct test burns before igniting larger areas, to verify how effectively fuels are consumed and how smoke will travel.  When conditions meet the prescription, state and local air pollution control districts issue a burn permit allowing operations to proceed. 

Smoke from prescribed fire operations is normal and may continue for several days after an ignition depending on the project size and environmental conditions.  Keep in mind that prescribed fire smoke is generally less intense and of much shorter duration than smoke produced by a wildland fire.  Smoke sensitive individuals are encouraged to reduce their exposure by staying indoors if they are in a smoke affected area. 

When prescribed fire operations are conducted, the TFFT posts road signs around areas affected by prescribed fire, sends email notifications and updates the local fire information line at 530-543-2816.  The TFFT gives as much advance notice as possible before burning, but some operations may be conducted on short notice. 

For information about smoke management tips, visit https://www.airnow.gov/index.cfm?action=topics.smoke_events


Map of prescribed fire operations for February 5, 2018


About the Tahoe Fire and Fuels Team

The Tahoe Fire and Fuels Team (TFFT) consists of representatives of Tahoe Basin fire agencies, CAL FIRE, Nevada Division of Forestry and related state agencies, University of California and Nevada Cooperative Extensions, the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, the U.S. Forest Service, conservation districts from both states, the California Tahoe Conservancy and the Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board. Our Mission is to protect lives, property and the environment within the Lake Tahoe Basin from wildfire by implementing prioritized fuels reduction projects and engaging the public in becoming a Fire Adapted Community.

For more information, visit www.tahoefft.org.