Wildfire Prevention and Preparedness in Truckee & Lake Tahoe
July 9, 2021
Truckee, like many places in California, is no stranger to wildfire danger. It’s where urban and forest environments converge. Summers are hot and dry, and when you mix our low humidity climate with abundant sources of fuel and some wind, you have a recipe for an intense, destructive wildfire. We all need to do our part to keep the people and places we love safe.
Preventing Wildfires Starts With You
Did you know that 95% of wildfires are caused by humans? When you consider this number, wildfire prevention doesn’t seem like an impossible feat. Rather, it poses a challenge to change our behavior outdoors and keep fire danger at the top of mind during all our summer adventures.
Have an Evacuation Plan and Know Your Route
In the event of wildfire, use the link below to get real-time evacuation information for your zone on Zonehaven. Enter your address to find your evacuation zone and view its current status – Evacuation Order, Evacuation Warning, Advisory, Clear to Repopulate, Shelter in Place, or Normal.
Truckee Police have a new tool to help keep residents and visitors safe from fire danger: a Hi/Lo siren. This important warning tool will let you know when dangerous conditions exist requiring an evacuation. Get familiar with the sound and remember, when you hear the Hi/Lo it’s time to go! Always have an evaluation plan and use it when you hear the siren.
Reminder from Truckee Police: “Always use your best judgment in an emergency situation. If you feel unsafe, spot fires ignite, or conditions change, don’t wait for an evacuation order; leave early if unsure to avoid being trapped by severe conditions.”
13 Tips to Prevent Wildfires & Stay Alert:
If you own or rent a home in the area, reducing fuel and creating defensible space is a priority. Go to ReadyForWildfire.org to learn how.
Report unattended or illegal fires immediately by calling 911.
Never throw cigarettes out of a car or onto the ground.
Ensure no chains are hanging from your trailer, boat, or vehicle that can cause a roadside spark.
Do not set off fireworks; they are illegal.
When traveling off-road, do not drive or park over dry grass.
Watch the National Weather Service for critical fire weather and RED FLAG WARNINGS when a fire could quickly get out of control. Predicted high temperatures, low RH and high winds are days to watch out for. All open flames are prohibited on Red Flag Days.
Be prepared to evacuate on a moment’s notice. Pack a GO BAG and don’t wait for a notification if you think it’s time to go.
Truckee’s Fire Ban – NO Campfires or Charcoal BBQs
A district-wide fire ban is in effect in Truckee. This bans residential campfires, charcoal BBQs, and burning anything other than gas. Whether you are spending time at your residence in Truckee or a vacation rental, it’s important to adhere to the fire ban and DO NOT have campfires, bonfires, or use charcoal BBQs. An additional fire ban is in place for California State Parks lands in the Sierra District, including the Donner Memorial State Park. Campfires and charcoal grills are prohibited. Additional fire restrictions are in place during Red Flag Warnings and periods of extreme fire danger.
Heed the Warning of Past Wildfires
Truckee’s healthy coniferous forests are a crown gem of the region. Hiking, skiing, or mountain biking through groves of giant Sugar Pines and vast Jeffery’s is a highlight for any outdoor enthusiast. But can you imagine if Truckee was suddenly transformed by wildfire to the image above? Climate change transformed California’s wildfire seasons and each year, we witness larger, hotter, more intense, destructive fires. All we need to do is look back to the 2018 Camp Fire for a warning of what could happen to an entire community with just a spark.
Tahoe National Forest Update
The Tahoe National Forest is open for day use and most recreation. Restrictions remain in place for camping and firearm use. Revised fire restrictions are in place and there is NO smoking and NO building, maintaining, attending, or using a fire, campfire or stove on all National Forests in California. Gas stoves are allowed within Developed Recreation Sites only (i.e. official campgrounds). Read the news release.