The Tahoe National Forest plans to prescribed burn 406-acres at Sagehen Summit off Highway 89 and Forest Service Road 878-2 near Truckee, Calif. The purpose of the project is to reduce fuels/wildfire risk and improve forest health and habitat Smoke will be visible from Truckee, Donner and Independence Lake along with Stampede and Boca Reservoir areas. Any smoke impacts will be carefully monitored.

Prescribed fire on the Tahoe National Forest

Incident updates and any schedule changes will be announced on Tahoe National Forest’s InciWeb:

Sagehen Hills Underburn

Truckee Ranger District

Legal Location: Township 18 N Range 16 E

Section(s): 5 and 6

Acres: 406

Ignition Dates: 10/5-10/15, 2023

Location Description: Sagehen Summit, Hwy 89 and FS RD 878-2

Why Are We Burning?

The goal of this prescribed burn is to decrease the existing fire hazard and to prevent and reduce the impact of future fires in the area. Other benefits include enhancing wildlife habitat and reintroducing fire into a fire-adapted ecosystem.

Why Now?

Current conditions allow for prescribed burning. Each prescribed fire operation follows a 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. The Tahoe National Forest strives to give as much advance notice as possible before burning, but some operations may be conducted on short notice.


Smoke from prescribed fire operations is normal and may continue for several days after an ignition depending on the project size and environmental conditions. Smoke may settle into the valleys in the evening and lift in the morning. The Tahoe National Forest coordinates with state and local county air pollution control districts and monitors weather conditions closely prior to prescribed fire ignition. Crews also conduct test burns before igniting a larger area, to verify how effectively fuels are consumed and how smoke will travel.