Annual efforts to decrease the possibility of wildfires and curtail excessive drunkenness over the Fourth of July holiday begin as soon as Monday.
Fire restrictions in the Lake Tahoe Basin begin July 1 and continue through the end of the fire season, according to a statement from the U.S. Forest Service. Possession of any fireworks in the Lake Tahoe Basin is illegal year around.
“Weather patterns this winter and spring are similar to conditions in 2007, the year of the Angora Fire,” Fire Prevention Officer Beth Brady said in the statement. “Even with the rain we have received, at this point, it won’t alleviate this summer’s high risk of wildfires.”
During fire restrictions smoking and making campfires outside of designated recreation sites are illegal, as are using open flames and operating combustion engines without a functional sparker arrester. Contained fuel stoves may still be used with a valid campfire permit.
A yearly alcohol ban will also be in effect at Nevada Beach, Zephyr Cove Resort and Zephyr Shoals from 6 a.m. to midnight on July 4, according to the Forest Service. The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office warns that any container that could carry an alcoholic beverage is subject to inspection in the areas during the ban.
The sheriff’s office also expects heavy traffic throughout the Nevada side of the South Shore during the Fourth of July fireworks show and cautions motorists to expect traffic delays.
Elks Point Road will be closed at its intersection with U.S. Highway 50 no later than 4:30 p.m. on the Fourth and no vehicles will be allowed to enter lower Elks Point Road unless they can provide proof of residency or campsite occupancy, according to the Sheriff’s Office. Elks Point Road will remain closed until after the fireworks. Lower Lake Parkway may also be closed to inbound traffic after the fireworks display depending on the volume of traffic, according to the sheriff’s office.