Forest Service offers tips for safe Memorial Day weekend | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Forest Service offers tips for safe Memorial Day weekend

Special to the Tribune

There is still plenty of snow in the backcountry, the U.S. Forest Service Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit warns.

The U.S. Forest Service Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit issued the following important information for residents and visitors to keep in mind this Memorial Day weekend at Lake Tahoe.

Warm temperatures have accelerated melting of our tremendous snowpack — streams and rivers will be cold, swift and high. Snowmelt water is extremely cold and exposure for even a few minutes can cause hypothermia. Avoid crossing flooded areas and keep in mind stream and river levels can fluctuate rapidly. A stream crossed early in the day, may not be able to be crossed later in the day as temperatures warm.

Hikers are advised that 2 to 20-plus feet of snow remains in the back country. Trails may not be visible, so a map and compass are essential, along with proper footwear, clothing and gear. In addition, your mobile device may not work in some areas so develop an emergency plan in case you cannot call for help.

Expect Lake Tahoe beaches to be much narrower than in previous years, some beaches with vegetation or rocky shoreline may be inaccessible. Arrive early to beat the crowds and use this opportunity to explore new areas.

Due to the large amount of snow remaining in some areas, many trails, roads and some campgrounds are still closed. Check http://bit.ly/2oEGEEN for the latest closure information (dates are subject to change).

Campfires and portable charcoal grills are only allowed in designated campgrounds and are never allowed on the beach or in the general forest. A California campfire permit is required for gas stoves outside of designated areas. Think first and learn more about Keeping Tahoe Fire Safe at thinkfirsttahoe.org/.

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Finally, remember to pack out all garbage and leave no trace! Read more about leave no trace principles at lnt.org/.

The Forest Service office in South Lake Tahoe is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and is closed on Monday, May 29, in observance of Memorial Day. Normal hours resume on Tuesday, May 30.

For more information on staying safe in your National Forest, visit http://www.fs.fed.us/visit/know-before-you-go.

Stay safe out there and have a wonderful Memorial Day!

This article was provided by the U.S. Forest Service Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit. Follow LTBMU on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/U.S.ForestServiceLakeTahoeBasin/ and Twitter at twitter.com/LakeTahoeUSFS for the latest information and updates.

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