Fire Restrictions in effect at Lake Tahoe

Contact(s): Public Affairs, Lisa Herron 530-543-2815

[Image]: Forest Service Shield.SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. Fire restrictions on National Forest System lands in the Lake Tahoe Basin began Friday, August 17, 2018, and will remain in effect through November 15. Warm temperatures and dry vegetation combined with numerous wildfires burning in our region prompted the U.S. Forest Service Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit (LTBMU) to implement restrictions intended to safeguard our communities across the Tahoe Basin.

“Fire restrictions mean that campfires are restricted to certain exempted recreation sites, while other fire-related activities are prohibited,” said Fire Management Officer, Steve Burns. “Over 90 percent of unwanted wildfires here are caused by people and by restricting locations where campfires are allowed, it helps protect our communities and forests.”

During fire restrictions, campfires are only allowed in campgrounds with an onsite host, such as Nevada Beach and Fallen Leaf campgrounds. See Exhibit A below for the complete list of exempted sites. During restrictions, campfires are not allowed at Watson Lake, Blackwood Canyon and Luther Pass campgrounds.

Portable gas stoves are allowed in all areas with a valid, free California Campfire Permit available at Forest Service offices in South Lake Tahoe, Incline Village and the Taylor Creek Visitor Center, or online at

The fire restriction Forest Order is posted at and states the following: Pursuant to 16 USC 551 and 36 CFR 261.50(a) and (b), and to provide for public safety and protect natural resources, the following acts are prohibited within the LTBMU.

  • Building, maintaining, attending, or using a fire (using wood, charcoal or any other material), campfire, or stove fire outside of the Exempted Recreation Sites shown on Exhibit A. 36 CFR 261.52(a).
  • Smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle or at a developed campground or picnic area identified as an Exempted Recreation Site in Exhibit (A), or while stopped in an area at least three feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable material. 36 CFR 261.52(d).
  • Operating an internal combustion engine off National Forest System roads and trails, except within the Sand Pit Off-Highway Vehicle Area and boats on a water surface. 36 CFR 261.52(h).
  • Welding or operating an acetylene torch with open flames, except by permit. 36 CFR 261 .52(i).

Exhibit A (Exempted Sites)
Angora Lakes Resort
Berkeley Camp
California Alpine Club
Camp Concord
Camp Richardson Resort and Campgrounds
Camp Richardson Corral
Camp Shelly
Echo Chalet
Fallen Leaf Campground
Kaspian Campground
Meeks Bay Campground
Meeks Bay Resort
Nevada Beach Campground and Pavilion Facility Round Hill Pines Resort
William Kent Campground
Zephyr Cove Resort Campground and Day Use Area

For questions about fire restrictions, contact the Forest Service office in South Lake Tahoe at 530-543-2600, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m., the Forest Service office in Incline Village at 775-831-0914, Wednesday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. or the Taylor Creek Visitor Center at 530-543-2674, seven days a week from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. through October 28.

Information about private land fire restrictions, regulated by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CALFIRE), is available at


Picnic table, campfire ring and stand up grill at Nevada Beach with Lake Tahoe in the background.


Photo caption:  During fire restrictions, campfires are only allowed in campgrounds with an onsite host, such as Nevada Beach Campground. Photo credit: Lisa Herron, USFS.

The mission of the U.S. Forest Service, part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is to sustain the health, diversity and productivity of the nation's forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. The agency manages 193 million acres of public land, provides assistance to state and private landowners, and maintains the largest forestry research organization in the world. Public lands the Forest Service manages contribute more than $13 billion to the economy each year through visitor spending alone. Those same lands provide 20 percent of the nation's clean water supply, a value estimated at $7.2 billion per year. The agency has either a direct or indirect role in stewardship of about 80 percent of the 850 million forested acres within the U.S., of which 100 million acres are urban forests where most Americans live.

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