A ban on wood burning has been put into effect due to drought conditions in the West, according to the City of South Lake Tahoe.
“A wood burning ban is in place due to historic drought conditions and the 2014 fire season could be catastrophic and we need the communities help,” said Jeff Meston, fire chief of the South Lake Tahoe Fire Department.
On June 18, California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection Director Ken Pimlott issued an order to suspend open burning across 31 million acres of State Responsibility Area in California.
The order is part of CAL FIRE’s continued efforts to mitigate the increased threat of wildfire due to California’s drought emergency, according to a City of South Lake Tahoe press release.
Meston reminds the public of the fire danger within the community. Citizens should be especially mindful of the following:
Avoid outdoor burning, such as campfires, or any other open flame. Even grilling is not advised.
Dispose of cigarettes and other smoking materials into fire safe containers. Tossing smoldering cigarettes onto the ground should be avoided.
Properly store flammable materials such as gasoline, alcohol, paint, lighter and matches. These materials may reach their critical points during hot weather and can possibly result to fire.
Be extremely careful when using and fueling chainsaws, lawn mowers, weed eaters and other lawn care equipment. High heat conditions make ignition of the fuel vapors more likely. Find shade if possible and allow the machinery to cool if it has been running. Also avoid welding in dangerously dry conditions, as the sparks can easily ignite the dry vegetation around you.
Be careful where you park your vehicles. The hot underside of a car or truck filled with gasoline parked over dead grass or leaves is an explosion waiting to happen. Be sure to park on concrete or solid dirt or gravel, especially during Red Flag Days. Do not park where vegetation touches the vehicle.