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Fire officials ban open burning across entire Tahoe basin, declare 2022 fire season

FILE: Firefighter battling engulfed brush.
FILE: Firefighter battling engulfed brush.
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As of June 1, open and recreational burning will be banned in the entire Lake Tahoe Basin region as officials prepare for an early and hot fire season. Reno had its first completely dry January on record this year.

"Following the driest January through March on record, we are left facing dry fuels early in the season with above-normal fire activity expected in the region," said Fire Chief Steve Leighton with the North Tahoe Fire Protection District (NTFPD)

On Tuesday, May 31, the North Tahoe Fire crew released a statement with Meeks Bay Fire Protection Districts enacting the final burn bans to complete the encirclement of prohibitions for the basin.

Aligning with the 2019 Fire Code, only natural gas and propane outdoor firepits, barbecues, and pellet grills or smokers will be allowed year round, except during Red Flag and critical fire condition days.

The North Tahoe Fire officials remind residents that open-flame devices such as tiki torches and all fireworks (including sparklers and fireworks) are illegal in California year-round.

"We ask our residents and visitors to follow our seasonal ban on the outdoor burning of wood and charcoal...our firefighters have been working hard this spring to train and prepare for fire season, but as we witnessed last year in Christmas Valley, it takes all of us working together throughout the season to make Tahoe Wildfire Ready," said Chief Leighton.

To prepare homes in the region against wildfire risks, homeowners are asked to create and maintain a minimum of 100 feet of defensible space around every structure on their property.

Defensible space is needed to slow or stop the spread of wildfire and it protects homes and property from catching fire, either from direct flame contact or radiant heat. It is also essential for the protection of the firefighters defending your home.

Northern Nevada and California residents should act and create this space by pruning or cutting back trees branches and shrubs and remove dead grass and weeds.

Examples of accepted items include junipers, pines, rabbitbrush, sagebrush, and other woody vegetation.

Previously the following bans were enacted for this upcoming fire season:

  • May 19- Calfire NEU suspended burn permits for the season.
  • May 24- Calfire AEU suspended burn permits for the season.
  • May 31- North Tahoe Fire Protection District, Meeks Bay Fire Protection District and Alpine Spings County Water District activate local fire restrictions that suspend the outdoor burning of solid fuels (wood and charcoal). Suspensions take effect June 1 for the duration of declared fire season.
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