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Top Fire Safety Tips for North Lake Tahoe

A little fire can pose a significant danger in North Lake Tahoe, so fire safety is always top of mind, especially from late spring through the end of fall. We’re ever grateful for our firefighters and first responders who work so diligently to keep us all safe. Fire safety is a way of life here and a top priority for all our residents and businesses. 

If you’re new to the area, here are our essential fire safety tips to get you started: 

  • Be ready to go 
    Keep your car gassed up and packed up with emergency supplies, snacks and extra clothes to leave quickly when necessary.  
  • Get to know the area 
    Research the areas on your itinerary before you go to learn access roads. Stay aware of current weather and air quality conditions. 
  • Sign up for emergency alerts 
    Register your cell phone number with these counties when you arrive to stay on top of any wildfire issues and recommendations if they arise. 

Placer County Notifications via Placer Alert 
Washoe County Notifications via CodeRED 
Nevada County Notifications via CodeRED 
El Dorado County Notifications via CodeRED 

Important Wildfire Resources 

2022 Fire Restrictions 

As of June 1st, 2022, summer fire restrictions are in effect for the Lake Tahoe basin. Below are current restrictions but always check in advance to make sure they haven’t changed.  

  • At homes and rentals, wood and charcoal burning are banned including campfires/bonfires and any BBQ that burns charcoal, wood, lump coal, briquette fuel-based smokers and wood shavings. Propane and gas BBQs that meet the clearances per manufacturer recommendations are allowed. 
  • In National Forests and California State Parks, wood and charcoal fires are only permitted within metal fire rings in campgrounds with an onsite host.  
  • In Nevada State Parks, wood and charcoal fires are not permitted.  
  • During red flag conditions, all open flames of any kind are prohibited. To find out if a Red Flag Warning has been issued, visit the National Weather Service fire weather website.  
  • Any recreational fire (natural gas, propane, solid fuel) requires a permit. 
  • Fireworks are prohibited in the area. 

Red Flag Warning 

The National Weather Service may issue a red flag warning, meaning that existing weather conditions could cause a fire to occur within 24 hours and those conditions could exist for the next 12 – 72 hours. Other than on the news, you may also notice red flags in front of fire stations, businesses and other locations throughout the region. To find out if a Red Flag Warning has been issued, visit the National Weather Service fire weather website

TahoeLivingWithFire.com  

This site is dedicated to helping Lake Tahoe residents prepare for wildfires. Tahoe Fire & Fuels Team, a basin-wide collaboration, created it with information on Getting Prepared, Getting Informed and Getting Involved

Visit Truckee-Tahoe Resources

Visit Truckee-Tahoe publishes a Visitor’s Guide to Wildfire Season and a  Visitor’s Guide to Planned Power Outages (PSOMs) to help guests and residents be prepared during California’s wildfire season.

Evacuation Guides 

If you are ordered to evacuate, please do so as soon as possible. No possession is worth your life. Here are some additional resources on evacuation guides specific to the Lake Tahoe region: 

Protect Against Wildfire Smoke 

Smoke from wildfires across California and Nevada carry tiny particles that can damage the lungs, especially for those with existing respiratory conditions. If there is smoke in the North Tahoe region during your visit, consider the Air Quality Index (AQI) before heading outside. When conditions are above 100, public health officials and air quality experts begin to recommend staying indoors and limiting outdoor exertion. If you are recreating outside and are considering masking, here’s what the California Department of Public Health advises: 

  • Cloth masks and surgical masks do not protect the wearer from fine particulate matter in wildfire smoke. 
  • Wear an N95 respirator if you need to be outdoors in smoky air for an extended period of time. 
  • The best way to protect yourself from wildfire smoke is to stay indoors. 

Additional Ways to Help 

Donate 

  • Donate to a Community Foundation: Community foundations get resources to local NGOs that support both the immediate relief work and the longer-term recovery for families that have lost homes and businesses. Under the “relief fund” tab in the above link is a list of vetted community foundations and organizations that are supporting local recovery efforts. 

Emergency Places to Stay 

Check Fire Evacuee for the free Open Homes service provided by AirBNB for those in the region. You may also check with the local Red Cross. 

Take the Pledge 

Take the Traveler Responsibility Pledge and commit to staying informed and doing your part to protect the region. 

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