U.S. Forest Service fuels management crews will begin prescribed fire operations on Lake Tahoe’s South and West Shores on Tuesday, Nov. 12. Weather and conditions permitting, operations will take place near Glenridge Parkway at Meeks Bay and near Taylor Creek on Highway 89 across from the Sno-Park. The Meeks Bay unit total is 42 acres and crews may burn as much of the unit as possible. At the Taylor Creek unit, crews will burn 10 acres and both operations are likely to continue through the end of the week and possibly through the weekend.
Fall and winter bring rain, snow and cooler temperatures, which are ideal for prescribed fire operations. All prescribed fire projects are conducted in accordance with an approved prescribed fire burn plan. Burn plans describe specific conditions under which operations are conducted including the weather, number of personnel and opportunities to minimize smoke impacts. This information is used to decide when and where to burn.
Because of the project size at Meeks Bay, a significant amount of smoke may be seen rising from the project area and smoke will be visible on Highway 89. Smoke can also be expected in the Taylor Creek area. Smoke from prescribed fire may continue for several days after the initial ignition. Smoke that settles in low lying areas in the morning usually lifts out of the area during normal daytime heating. All Prescribed fires are monitored regularly for burning and smoke dispersal and action is taken to mitigate concerns as they arise.
The Forest Service makes every effort to conduct prescribed fire operations during weather patterns that carry smoke away from communities. Smoke-sensitive residents should consider staying indoors and keeping doors, windows and outside vents closed. This summer’s wildfires serve as a reminder of the importance of fuels reduction and that smoke produced during a prescribed fire is less intense and of shorter duration than that of a wildfire. For more information on prescribed fire and smoke management tips, visit fs.usda.gov/goto/ltbmu/RxFireOps.
Forest Service staff will post road signs around the areas affected by the prescribed fire, send e-mail notifications and update the local fire information line at 530-543-2600, No. 6. To receive prescribed fire notifications, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
To learn more about the efforts to reduce wildfire risks in the Tahoe Basin read the Lake Tahoe Basin Multi-jurisdictional Fuel Reduction Plan found at fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/fsm9_045864.pdf.
To learn about prescribed fire versus wildfire, visit smokeybear.com/prescribed-fires.asp.