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. The good news is that when it comes to wildfires, prevention and preparedness are key, and they both start with you. We all need to do our part to keep the people and places we love safe. Here’s how you can #RecreateResponsibly and prevent wildfires in Truckee.
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.
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.
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.
- Be aware of any residential fire bans in your area, like the campfire and charcoal ban.
- Learn about Emergency Sheltering during COVID-19 and be prepared to evacuate.
- Sign up for Nixle alerts to receive urgent messages and alerts from Truckee Fire and Police by email or text.
- Use the Ready Nevada County Dashboard for real-time updates and information during a wildfire. Access the dashboard and additional resources at ReadyNevadaCounty.org
- Check the fire danger and forecast and view recent messages from the Truckee Fire Protection District.
- 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.
Are you traveling to Truckee during wildfire season (summer – fall)? We created a visitor’s guide that answers all of your frequently asked questions. Do your research beforehand and read through the guide to have peace of mind during your trip. Be prepared, be alert, and be ready for wildfire.
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.
Hear the Hi/Lo, Time to Go!
Truckee Police have unveiled 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.”
Preventing wildfires is just one way to #RecreateResponsibly and #RespectTruckee during your trip to Truckee. In addition to fire safety, follow these guidelines to learn how to protect your favorite outdoor spaces in Truckee and beyond. We all have a shared responsibility to care for one another and the outdoor places we love to call our home-away-from-home. Together, we can build a safe and inclusive outdoors.
Siobhan traveled the American West as a National Park Ranger before setting down roots in Truckee. Outdoor adventure is her bread and butter and most days you can find her skiing, trail running, or backpacking. Follow along with her adventures on Instagram @siokenney.