Easing of Fire Restrictions in North Tahoe Fire and Meeks Bay Fire Protection Districts
Thanks to the arrival of moisture and higher humidity, effective November 10, 2020, fire agencies in Lake Tahoe Basin may begin easing local fire restrictions. Local fire restrictions for Meeks Bay Fire Protection District have been revised by the Fire Chief to allow the use of firepits and charcoal barbecues. CAL FIRE has not yet lifted the burn permit suspension which is in place in Placer and El Dorado counties, and residential dooryard burning is not currently allowed.
Residents and visitors should expect to see smoke in the region as fire managers begin much needed prescribed fire operations. Locally, within the Meeks Bay Fire service area, California State Parks, with the assistance of CAL FIRE, will begin burning 80 piles on four acres in the Sugar Pine Point State Park south of Tahoma beginning on November 12, 2020. Pile burning will continue over the next several weeks in and around the campground, and across General Creek along the South Fire Road. Pile burning is planned to begin at Burton Creek State Park (north of the Rocky Ridge Condos, and west of Burton Creek) later this month, and will continue for several weeks.
Prescribed fires are set by forest managers during less flammable weather conditions and kept within control lines, so the fire is of low severity, consuming fuels that would otherwise burn at high severity during dangerous weather. Pile burning is intended to remove excess fuels (branches, limbs, and stumps) that can feed unwanted wildfires, and involves burning slash piles that are constructed by hand and mechanical equipment. Smoke from prescribed fire operations is normal and may continue for several days after an ignition depending on the project size and environmental conditions. Prescribed fire smoke is generally less intense and of much shorter duration than smoke produced by wildland fires.
Information on local prescribed fires and fuel reduction projects is available at https://www.tahoelivingwithfire.com/get-informed/.