Lake Tahoe agencies resume prescribed fire operations this week

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. November 27, 2017 – After taking a break during the Thanksgiving holiday, the Tahoe Fire and Fuels Team (TFFT) resume prescribed fire operations next week, beginning Monday, November 27, 2017.  Weather permitting, North Lake Tahoe Fire Protection District, California State Parks and the California Tahoe Conservancy will conduct prescribed fire operations above Incline Village, D.L. Bliss and Burton Creek state parks and near the airport in South Lake Tahoe.  Smoke may be visible.  View the map with project locations and details at http://www.tahoefft.org.  To receive prescribed fire notifications, send an email to pa_ltbmu@fs.fed.us.

When weather and conditions allow, prescribed fire operations are conducted to reduce overgrown vegetation, which decreases the severity of wildland fires and protects communities, reduces the risk of insect and disease outbreaks in our forests, recycles nutrients that increases soil productivity and improves wildlife habitat.  After nearly a century of fire exclusion in the Sierra Nevada, prescribed fire operations also re-introduces fire back onto the landscape, which helps restores vital ecosystem functions and improves forest health and resiliency.

Fall and winter bring cooler temperatures and precipitation, which favor prescribed burning.  Each prescribed fire operation follows a specialized prescribed fire burn plan, which considers temperature, humidity, wind, moisture of the vegetation, and conditions for the dispersal of smoke.  This information is used to decide when and where to burn.

Agencies coordinate closely with local county and state air pollution control districts and monitor weather conditions carefully prior to prescribed fire ignitions.  They wait for favorable conditions that will carry smoke up and out of the basin.  Crews also conduct test burns before igniting larger areas, to verify how effectively fuels are consumed and how smoke will travel.  When conditions meet the prescription, state and local air pollution control districts issue a burn permit allowing operations to proceed.

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 a wildland fire.  Smoke sensitive individuals are encouraged to reduce their exposure by staying indoors if they are in a smoke affected area.

Before prescribed fire operations are conducted, agencies post road signs around areas affected by prescribed fire, send email notifications and update the local fire information line at 530-543-2816.  The TFFT gives as much advance notice as possible before burning, but some operations may be conducted on short notice.

For more information about prescribed fire and smoke management tips, visit http://www.fs.usda.gov/goto/ltbmu/RxFireOps.