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SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif., June 15, 2021 – Enhanced fire restrictions begin today, June 15, 2021, and will remain in effect through November or until rescinded. Wood and charcoal fires and other fire-related activities are prohibited on National Forest System lands in the Lake Tahoe Basin, including developed campgrounds. Illegal campfires cause over 90 percent of the wildfires at Lake Tahoe and increased fire danger due to severe drought conditions and warm weather is a big concern this summer. Enhanced fire restrictions will help reduce the possibility of human-caused fires.
Pursuant to 16 USC 551 and 36 CFR 261.50(a), and to provide for public safety and protect natural resources, the following acts are currently prohibited within the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit:
- Building, maintaining, attending, or using a fire, campfire, or stove fire, including charcoal briquettes and wood, on National Forest System lands. 36 CFR 261.52(a).
- Smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle, 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 paved, gravel, or dirt 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. 36 CFR 261.52(i).
In addition to the restrictions listed above, possessing, discharging, or using any kind of firework, including sparklers and firecrackers, and any other pyrotechnic device is always prohibited.
Pursuant to 36 CFR 216.50 (e), persons with a valid Wilderness Permit or a California Campfire Permit may use a portable campfire pit, lantern or stove that uses gas, kerosene, jellied petroleum, or pressurized liquid fuel, with a shut-off valve, in an area at least three feet from any flammable materials. California Campfire Permits are free and available online at https://www.readyforwildfire.org/permits/campfire-permit/.
At the following National Forest beaches, campgrounds and resorts, portable gas appliances with a shut-off valve are permitted without a California Campfire Permit: Baldwin, Meeks Bay, Nevada, Pope, and William Kent beaches; Fallen Leaf, Meeks Bay, Nevada and William Kent campgrounds; and Camp Richardson, Meeks Bay and Zephyr Cove resorts.
A violation of these prohibitions is punishable by a fine of not more than $5,000 for an individual or $10,000 for an organization, or imprisonment for not more than six months, or both, 16 USC 551 and 18 USC 3559, 3571, and 3581.
Information about private and state land fire restrictions, regulated by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CALFIRE), is available at https://burnpermit.fire.ca.gov/current-burn-status/ or from local fire districts.